Lemongrass Tofu and Choy Soup, a delicious quick packed with flavor lunch, hosting vibrant and fresh textures with a bit of spice.
Lemongrass Tofu and Choy Soup, hosting wonderful textures from the crispy billowy tofu to the soft beautifully stewed vegetables, giving you an easy breezy lunch time experience.
Lemongrass is a unique spice. It grows in long stem like appearance and demands a bit of diverse attention when preparing to use. You can take the stalk of lemongrass and with the backside of a heavy knife, pound the lemongrass to release its strand-like texture. Then chop it very fine, or better yet grate it and freeze it. To tell you the truth I go to T&T and buy it there. It is in the freezer section and comes either in a container or in a bag. I did use it in its more natural form, but I like the grated one better, it is functional and always on hand. It comes in very handy when making certain Asian dishes and soups. I love the fragrance of lemongrass, it is bright, fresh and for me a scent that makes me smile and feel happy. There have been studies done to see the benefits of lemongrass, but have been inconclusive, but I go by my personal experience, and I love they way it flavors dishes, makes me feel, and the smell of it a true awakening, I am sold on this mysterious stalk of goodness.
I tried this particular dish at a local vegan restaurant called Padmanadi, and I was hooked from day one. So Kasim and the staff at Padmanadi’s, thank you for the inspiration, and your always wonderful food and hospitality.
In this dish, I used tofu that I deep fry to a wonderful crispness, but before that, I toss the tofu in some tapioca starch. This helps seal the tofu and create a nice crisp coating and a billowy airy softness inside that is tantalizing at every bite. After it has been fried it goes into a hot wok for a quick toss encountering the wonder spice grated lemon grass, garlic shoots, ginger, chopped red pepper, and sesame oil. This combination is a bit of heaven bursting with flavor and I salted these morsels with some citrus and ginger infused sea salt.
The key to successful Asian food is to have your prep all done before you start cooking. This ensures that your undivided attention occurs when preparing these types of dishes.
This dish is visually stunning and captivating. The golden morsels beautifully fried. The red peppers, a pop of color. The translucency of the onions offering a bit of backdrop, wonderfully elevating the green of the garlic scapes. The lemon grass giving us some dimension with its frizzy texture. Combine this with the smell that is coming up out of this dish and I can’t wait to munch on these.
I served some freshly made Choy Soup, with the Lemongrass Tofu. I love Asian style of eating. Several plates on the table, nibbling, sampling, conversing, to me a beautiful thing. The soup is so quick to prepare. The usual mirepoix, carrots, onions, celery, combined with sauteed baby bok choy, and gai lan choy, all simmered to perfection in a nice vegetable broth. This soup is a beautiful and delightful accompaniment to the tofu.
The flavor and texture of this dish are just purely amazing. You grab one morsel of the tofu and notice right away that there is this crispy coating judging by the sounds resonating from the chopsticks. Your first bite confirms this as your teeth sink through and that crispness echoes on your palate. The lemongrass coming through right away with its fresh zingy citrus punch, and the garlic scapes following with its very subtle profile. The onions and red pepper offer just enough diversity to give you a plethora of texture and taste, and you find yourself diving those chopsticks in time and again to get another, and another, yet another………….. one of this flavorful and textural Lemongrass Tofu.
The soup heart warming. The broth subtle and deeply hued, with a fresh vegetable flavor. The onions melting in your mouth and offering sweetness to the pot. The baby bok choy and gai lan choy tender, and juicy at every bite, giving you that flavor of greens that I so deeply enjoy.
So if your are craving Asian-inspired cuisine, and want something packed with flavor and texture, give our Lemongrass Tofu and Choy Soup a try, it’s easy, it’s fun, and one that will add smiles to your day and warmth to your heart.
Song of the day: “Have a Nice Day” by Stereophonics.
- 2 cups extra firm tofu cubed (2cm cubes)
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 red onion choped fine
- 1/2 red pepper chopped fine
- 2 tbsp of chopped garlic shoots
- 2 tsp grated lemongrass
- 1 tsp fresh ginger chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon orange ginger sea salt
- 700 ml saflower oil for frying
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 red onion chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 stalk celery choped
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 1 cup baby bok choy choped
- 1 cup gai lan choy choped
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp safflower oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon grass
- pinch chinese five spice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Take cubed tofu and toss gently with tapioca starch, that is seasoned with salt and pepper and a pinch of lemoingrass
- Shake off excess tapioca starch and set aside.
- Heat up safflower oil in a wok to around 360 F and drop i8n gently the tofu making sure to move them around to prevent them from sticking to each other and the pan.
- Fry till nice and golden brown about 3 minutes, and place on a plate with paper towel and let excess oil drian.
- In a hot wok drizzle sesame oil and toss in red onion, red pepper, garlic shoots, and ginger. stir fry for about 2 minutes.
- Add in lemon grass and tofu and stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes, season with orange ginger sea salt.
- Plate and serve.
- In a sauce pan heat up sesame oil and safflower oil.
- Toss in onions, celery, and carrots and saiutee till onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Drop in baby bok choy and gai lan choy and saute for another 2 minutes
- Season with salt, pepper, chinese five spice, and lemongrass and ginger.
- Pour in vegetable stock.
- Add soy sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Plate and serve.
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