Monday, May 23, 2011

Baked Lemongrass Tofu + Coconut Jasmine Rice

This dish gets its fragrant kick from a mixture of fresh herbs that you may have in your garden this time of year. The lemongrass, which can be found at your neighborhood health food store or Asian market, adds a floral note while the garlic and soy sauce add depth. This particular mixture would make even your shoe taste delicious. Luckily, we have a better plan for it than that.

Don't be deterred by the length of this recipe; it's really quite simple when you break it down. Make the spice mixture, toss it with the tofu, bake, sauté onions, add coconut milk, and it's done. It's healthier than the deep-fried stuff you get when you go out -- and you also know exactly what's in this.

Baked Lemongrass Tofu + Coconut Jasmine Rice

1 can of light coconut milk
1 cup jasmine rice
2 fat stalks of lemongrass
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger
3 cloves of garlic
tsp. of sugar
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup basil
zest from 1 lime
1 tablespoon sambal (or sriracha)
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 blocks firm tofu (cut into bite-sized cubed, patted dry)
1 onion (sliced into 1/2 moons)
Braggs (or soy sauce)
1 head of butter lettuce (torn)
1 large tomato (sliced)
1 cucumber (thinly sliced)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On the stovetop, bring one cup of the coconut milk and one cup of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the jasmine rice and cover. Reduce heat to low to allow the rice to simmer. It will take about 20 minutes for the rice to cook through and absorb all of the liquid.

Now comes the fun part: smack the stalks of lemongrass on the countertop to soften them and then split them open. Pull out the pliable inside part and place it in a food processor. The rest of the stalk goes into the compost pile. Add the ginger, garlic, sugar, mint, basil, zest, and, sambal to the food processor and crank it up. You want these ingredients very finely chopped.

In a large bowl, toss the lemongrass mixture together with the canola oil and tofu and throw in a pinch of salt. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu to a silpat-lined baking sheet and arrange the cubes into a single layer. Reserve the lemongrass/oil mixture that's at the bottom on the bowl. Bake tofu 20-30 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Don't let the garlic burn! Keep a close eye on it.

While that is cooking in the oven, sauté the onion in a large frying pan over medium using the reserved lemongrass/oil mixture. Once the onion is soft and translucent, remove pan from the heat. Add a tablespoon of Braggs or soy sauce to the onions. Once the tofu is done, remove it from the oven and toss it into the pan with the onions along with the remaining coconut milk. Mix and heat through. Serve over butter lettuce with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and coconut rice.


JL goes Vegan said...

This recipe looks incredible! I've never cooked with lemon grass. Time to try it!

Unknown said...

Great idea. I've eaten lemongrass a lot but haven't worked with it myself.

Bianca said...

I can attest to how completely awesome this recipe is! Btw, I thought you should know the "word verification" letters on this comment spell "pusses". That's funny.

Rommel Peter Fernandes said...

Thanks so much for the recipe. Need to check it out.
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Miss Adventure said...

Sounds fab, so will give it a go tomorrow night - bank holliers here so local shop's shut and only tempe in the house - tastes all wrong for this! This sounds perfect for a supper gathering, thanks.