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This Lemongrass tofu is jam-packed with flavor, yet made with simple ingredients. Even the biggest tofu skeptics go back for seconds of this flavorful Vietnamese-inspired dish!
Lemongrass is one of my favorite flavors so I figured it was time to bring it to the blog! Lemongrass is such a unique flavor and is an ingredient that works great in both sweet and savory recipes. If you’ve never cooked with lemongrass before, you’re in for a treat!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Tofu: We like to use firm tofu instead of extra-firm in this lemongrass tofu recipe as it is less dense and does a better job of absorbing the flavor. With that being said, if you only have access to extra firm tofu, it will still work in this recipe!
- Aromatics: Garlic, green onions, and fresh ginger are the flavor base that starts this dish off right. Using fresh garlic and ginger over powdered is highly recommended!
- Red chili pepper: We used a cayenne pepper since it is what we had on hand, but feel free to use any pepper of your choice. You can also opt for a pinch of red chili flakes as needed, too!
- Lemongrass: If you’ve never worked with fresh lemongrass stalks before, don’t be intimidated! Learn How to Cut Lemongrass in this simple video. It’s much easier than you think. We recommend removing the outer layers as these can be too tough to eat. You can use them for Lemongrass Tea so that they don’t go to waste! Alternatively, lemongrass paste is a great, fast option.
- Tamari: Tamari tastes a lot like soy sauce, but it is free of gluten, tastes slightly less salty, and is more balanced in flavor. Feel free to use soy sauce in its place if that’s what you have on hand.
- Maple Syrup: A bit of sweetness balances out the savory flavors in this lemongrass tofu recipe and rounds out the dish overall. If you don’t have maple syrup, agave or another similar liquid sweetener works as well.
How to Make Lemongrass Tofu
- Prep the tofu. Press and cut the block of tofu into 1-inch tofu cubes.
- Cook the tofu. Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the diced tofu along with a pinch of salt and cook, flipping often, until golden brown with a lightly crispy crust, about 8 minutes. Remove the tofu and set aside while you prepare the lemongrass sauce.
- Sauté the minced aromatics. Heat another tablespoon of cooking oil in the skillet. Once hot, add in the garlic, green onions, ginger, red chili, and lemongrass. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until everything has softened and is fragrant.
- Add in the liquids. Reduce the heat to low and add in the soy sauce, maple syrup, and sesame oil. Mix well to combine to form the lemongrass sauce.
- Add the tofu. Add the cooked tofu pieces back into the skillet and gently toss until the tofu is well coated. Cook for 1 minute more to heat the tofu through and meld the flavors.
- Serve. Season the lemongrass tofu with black pepper to taste, then enjoy as desired.
We love this lemongrass tofu served over fluffy white rice or brown rice with green onions. It makes a delicious weeknight main course or weekly meal prep to pack for quick and easy lunches.
This Vietnamese dish is also delicious served over rice noodles, stir-fried veggies, roll it inside spring rolls or turn the tofu into a banh mi sandwich!
This lemongrass tofu will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We wouldn’t recommend freezing this tofu dish, especially if you used frozen tofu. Continuing to freeze and reheat it will degrade the texture of the dish and make it become grainy.
Leftovers reheat best in the microwave or in a hot skillet until warmed through again.
- Freeze your tofu! If you’ve never tried freezing your tofu before, you’re missing out! This technique changes the texture of the tofu by freezing the excess water inside the tofu in small water crystals. Upon thawing, these water crystals melt and drain out of the tofu, leaving a chewy, spongy texture and very reminiscent of the consistency of chicken.
- Don’t forget to press your tofu. Whether you’re using refrigerated or frozen, then thawed tofu, it’s important to press the tofu. This removes the excess water and allows it to absorb the flavors better. If you don’t have a tofu press, check out our hack for pressing tofu without a tofu press.
- Look for lemongrass at your local asian markets. Lemongrass is a fairly common ingredient and should be carried at most large grocery stores, but if you can’t find it. Check your local asian markets. Lemongrass is a prominent ingredient in both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
More Vegan Tofu Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Vegan Tofu Karaage – A Japanese fried “chicken” made entirely from plants!
- General Tso’s Tofu – a sweet, spicy, and savory dish to serve over white fluffy rice.
- Orange Tofu – a vegan spin on the classic orange chicken.
- Crispy Air Fryer Herbed Tofu – a simple crispy tofu that can add protein to any meal.
- Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper & Herb Tofu – a fuss-free meal for busy weeknights!
If you make this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments below! + If you post any photos on Instagram, make sure you tag us @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris so that we don’t miss it, we love seeing your photos!Print
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