Though this is my favorite combination of ingredients, I have a sesame version that I often use for Asian dishes. It can be altered to fit particular flavor pallets quite easily, and as someone who didn’t use to eat tofu at ALL, this is good enough to eat cold on a salad. #flavorvictory
- Thai basil (~1 tbsp)
- Cilantro (~1 tbsp)
- A few green onions, finely chopped
- Lemon or lime juice (1/2 lemon)
- Lemongrass (3 bulbs)
- Garlic (1 giant American GMO clove or several normal ones)
- Fresh tofu (there are two types for sale in Hanoi – I prefer the one that does not have raised edges)
- Crushed red pepper (.5 tbsp)
- ½ cup tamari or light soy sauce
- 1 cup water and some veggie broth powder OR one cup of mushroom/vegetable stock reduction.
Tofu: With fresh Vietnamese tofu, blot dry, but leave as is.
Lemongrass: Remove any dead leaves. Cut off the dried base of the bulb, and then the tops of the grass. We’re looking to save/use about 3 inches, discard everything else. Slice in half from end to end, place flat side down on your cutting board, and use the heel of the knife to pound the lemongrass. Crush it (should be 2-3 good hits).
Fine-chop herbs and garlic. Combine ingredients, wisk, and marinate tofu in dressing for at least 2 hours, though I prefer 8. I’m not joking. Lay tofu in baking pan (they can be tightly packed) and cover with ½ the marinade. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350º. Flip tofu and add the remaining marinade. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until tofu is well browned, making sure it is still soft on the inside. Using fresh tofu usually means a reduction of time, if you’re using a new batch or new style, keep an eye on it after 10 minutes.