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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Tofu and Sugar Snap Peas in Lemongrass Broth

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Okay, don’t laugh, we are doing a tofu recipe. Prepared correctly, tofu is delicious; handled poorly, it's useless, tasteless, and not worth eating. Deborah Madison knows how to do it right, and here is her recipe for Tofu and sugar snap peas in a lemongrass broth from Vegetarian Suppers which is very easy and delicious. I have added some options to make it Weight Watchers-appropriate. If this is not an issue for you, ignore those parts.

3 tablespoons fresh chopped lemongrass (available with the fresh herbs in most supermarkets)
2 slices fresh ginger
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 cilantro sprigs, plus some extra leaves for garnish
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar, maple syrup, or sugar-free maple syrup
1 carton of soft packed tofu, drained
1 teaspoon peanut oil or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, diced
A handful of sugar snap peas or asparagus tips
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup noodles or rice optional (brown rice or buckwheat noodles are “core”)
Lime wedges for garnish

Put the first 4 broth ingredients in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Now simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, or until mixture is reduced to about 3/4 of a cup (about by half). Now strain out the flavoring solids and add the soy sauce and the maple or sugar. Taste to make sure you like the flavor. While the broth is simmering, drain the tofu and cut into cubes. Next, in a sauté pan, add the little bit of oil and get it hot. Add the garlic, onion, scallion and chile. Cook over high heat for 30 seconds, then add the sugar snap peas and the turmeric and the tofu. Pour in the reserved broth and simmer till the peas are bright green and tender. This will just take a few minutes. Taste for salt. If using, add the rice and or noodles now, personally I just leave them out. Pour into warmed bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and a lime wedge. A tasty, healthy treat with all kinds of flavors — thank you, Deborah!