by Chef Randy Lemongrass is grown on a commercial scale in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and China and may be found at your local market. Ask your grocer if you don’t see it. A typical piece of lemongrass would be about 8 inches long with a slight bulge towards the end. Its color is pale green with slight brownish (or brownish pink) portions.
This vegan dish is a nice starter for an elaborate dinner or enjoyed as a nutritious lunchtime meal. Its aroma, along with the flavor of Hoisin sauce and sate chili paste, will delight the palate. Serve it with steamed brown rice for a complete, nutritious dinner.
16 ounces medium firm organic tofu (cut into 1-inch cubes) 3 cups vegetable oil ¼ cup organic Tamari ¼ cup white vinegar ¼ cup granulated cane sugar 1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce 3 tablespoons water 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small yellow or white onion (1/4 inch thick slices)
1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
1/3 cup fresh lemongrass (cut off the lower bulb – remove tough, outer leaves and use a food processor to grind the remaining yellow stalk)
1 tablespoon sate chili paste (buy some in the store or make it yourself*)
½ cup fresh shitake mushrooms (remove stems – slice ¼ inch thick)
2 stalks green onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons natural rice vinegar Fresh cilantro for garnish
Heat vegetable oil in a 2-quart sauce pan over medium-high heat. Cut tofu into 1-inch squares and pat dry with paper towels to absorb excess water. Fry tofu cubes until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel (this step can skipped if you buy storebought deep fried tofu and cut it into 1-inch pieces) and set aside.
Mix tamari, vinegar, sugar, Hoisin sauce and water together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high to medium-high heat until very hot. Add 3 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add onion, garlic, and lemongrass. Sauté for 30 – 40 seconds. Add chili paste and tamari mixture (see set aside above). Stir until incorporated.
Add tofu to the wok or skillet. Stir all ingredients together until the sauce coats all. Add mushrooms and green onions. Deglaze with rice vinegar and continue to stir fry until the mushrooms are cooked through (about 2 minutes).
Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro and serve immediately.
* Sate Chili Paste
1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
¼ cup organic peanut butter
½ cup organic extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon curry
Mix crushed chili pepper and peanut butter together. Set aside. Heat the oil on medium and cook the garlic to release the fragrance and oils. Add in the remaining ingredients along with the pepper/ peanut butter mixture. This will start to foam and them form a paste. Remove and let cool. Refrigerate until you are ready to use. The paste will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.