Sunday, December 02, 2007

Tofu, Leeks and Lemongrass

This is a simple yet elegant meal, delicious and vegetarian: sweet chili-fried tofu with leeks in coconut and lemongrass broth. The marinade is a little hot but is set off by the sweet and mild coconut, lemongrass broth. From the Cafe Paradiso Seasons cookbook...

Sweet chili-fried tofu with leeks in a coconut, lemongrass broth
Serves 2-4

3 T sambal oelek
6 T soy sauce
2 T sugar
juice of 1 lime
Package of tofu

olive oil
4 stalks lemongrass
1 T grated ginger
1 handful of basil and cilantro leaves (leave whole)
2 leeks chopped in diagonal slices
21 oz coconut milk
2 oz coconut cream

Stir together the sambal oelek, soy sauce, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of water. Chop the tofu into 1/2 inch squares and marinade them in the sauce for 15 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan, adding a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add the tofu squares with the marinade and fry until all the marinade has been absorbed and the tofu is golden and seared. Flip the tofu squares searing both sides.

To make the coconut sauce, bring some water to boil, drop in the lemongrass, ginger and herbs, and simmer for five minutes. Strain and return to pot. Add the chopped leeks and simmer gently for about 10 minutes until tender. Pour in the coconut milk, coconut cream and a pinch of salt, simmer for a few minutes before serving.

Serve the tofu sitting on the leeks in a generous pool of the coconut broth.

Dinner menu
Sweet chili-fried tofu with leeks in coconut and lemongrass broth
Lightly steamed carrots
crusty bread

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