Friday, August 28, 2009

Pan-Fried Tofu with Spicy Lemongrass Sauce (Tofu Nuong Xa)

Earlier in the month, I made a coconut soup from Vietnamese cuisine. Here's another delicious Vietnamese recipe to try. Although tofu is the star of the show, this dish wasn't originally vegan because it called for fish sauce. I know it is okay to simply substitute soy sauce, but I wanted something that caught the... funk... of fish sauce a bit better. Research online suggested mixing miso into soy sauce. Then I actually found bottled Miso Tamari at the grocery store, so I bought and used that. (Try the Miso Master brand)

Cut 2 (15-ounce) extra-firm packages of tofu each into 8 slices each, crosswise. Place on several layers of paper towel, cover with additional paper towels, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add the tofu and cook for 2 minutes on each side until browned.

Meanwhile, mix together 1 and 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar with 2 tablespoons soy sauce or other fish-sauce replacement of your choice, stirring with a whisk.

Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot and 1 minced garlic clove; saute 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons chopped and peeled lemongrass and one minced red Thai chile; saute 2 minutes. Add the sugar mixture, and cook for 1 minute.

Thai chiles are the long red ones. I could only find them dried at the supermarket this week, but I was in a hurry and didn't have time to check other grocery stores, so I used that. I also took out the seeds to cut down on the heat a bit!

Serve 4 tofu slices with 1 tablespoon of the lemongrass sauce for 4 servings of 180 calories.

extra-firm tofu $4.78
miso tamari sauce $8.49
shallots $1.24

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance