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Lemongrass Tofu In Coconut Curry Sauce

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This lemongrass tofu recipe is mouthwateringly aromatic and flavourful. Tofu is seasoned and pan-fried to crispy, then tossed in a creamy lemongrass coconut curry sauce. Served over rice, noodles or with stir-fried veggies, this tofu dish will become your new favourite vegetarian dinner. 


Lemongrass Tofu With Coconut Curry Sauce

Lemongrass Tofu With Coconut Sauce

If you’re looking for inspiring tofu recipes, make sure to give this a go. I know tofu can be incredibly boring on its own and the key is to make sure it’s well-seasoned and paired with a delicious sauce or condiment. 

In this Vietnamese and Thai-inspired recipe, the tofu is seasoned with garlic powder, white pepper and soy sauce, then coated in cornstarch (you can use tapioca) and pan-fried until crispy. The lemongrass curry sauce is prepared separately and the two are combined just before serving to retain that crispiness in the cooked tofu. 

There are no fancy ingredients, everything can be purchased at your usual big supermarket or an Asian grocer. Plus, you can use most of them in dishes like my Vietnamese lemongrass pork meatballs, satay chicken skewers, lemongrass banh mi, or crying tiger beef and rice noodle salad. 

I hope you enjoy this delicious lemongrass tofu curry recipe! 

Curry tofu with lemongrass coconut sauce

How To Make Lemongrass Tofu Curry

Find the full recipe card with ingredient amounts, instructions, and nutritional info below these step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

  • Aromatics – usual Asian aromatics such as lemongrass, green onions (or white onions), garlic, ginger and chili.
  • Tofu – You will need firm tofu for this recipe. If you can’t do soy products, try chicken or shrimp instead.
  • Flour – You can use cornstarch or tapioca/arrowroot flour for coating the tofu; these are all gluten-free options and if not available, you can use gluten-free or regular plain flour.
  • Seasonings – garlic powder, pepper (ideally white), turmeric powder and mild curry powder, plus some sugar or honey for sweetness.
  • Sauces– you will need soy sauce (coconut aminos or Tamari for gluten-free version) and fish sauce; for a vegan version, use extra soy sauce or plain salt in place of fish sauce. You will also need some lime juice.
  • Coconut milk  – full-fat coconut milk out of a can, you will need the thickened part of the milk.
Ingredients for lemongrass tofu

Cooking The Tofu

Step 1. Cut the tofu into a triangle or rectangular strips, about 0.5-1cm thick, and place on a board, tray or plate in one layer. Use some kitchen roll/paper to press down the tofu to absorb some of the excess moisture.

Step 2. Sprinkle the tofu with garlic powder and pepper. Drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Set aside. At this stage, you might want to skip to making the curry sauce!

Step 3. Add the cornstarch to a bowl. In a clean frying pan or skillet, heat about 1/4 cup of oil, a thin layer over medium-high heat. Once sizzling hot, dip a few pieces of tofu in corn starch and shake off the excess, add to the oil. Continue until you fill the pan but without overcrowding it too much. Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Remove to a plate and continue until all tofu is cooked.

Lemongrass Curry Sauce

Step 1. In a skillet, heat the 1.5 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped green onions (the white part), lemongrass and ginger (but not the garlic yet). Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until they get aromatic. Then add the garlic and stir-fry for another minute, until it starts to get golden.

Step 2. Add the chili, turmeric and curry powder and stir through. Then stir in the coconut cream/milk, add the fish sauce and sugar and cook together for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. You can reduce the heat to medium if it’s bubbling away too quickly. Finish with a tablespoon of lime juice. Taste for salt and add a pinch or two if needed. Set aside.

Transfer the crispy tofu to the heated curry sauce and stir OR pour it over the tofu on a serving plate. Garnish with plenty of fresh coriander, some sliced red chili, wedges of lime and some optional Asian fried shallots or crushed peanuts.

What To Serve With Lemongrass Tofu

This tofu is delicious and saucy so you want to serve it with a side dish that will help you slurp up every drop of the lemongrass curry. I recommend rice or cauliflower rice or rice noodles. You can also do any other noodles, stir-fried veggies or zucchini noodles for a low-carb side. 

This tofu and the sauce can also be served in Vietnamese rice paper rolls or a banh mi sandwich. 

If you like coconut curry recipes, make sure to check out my easy curry meatballs and pumpkin chicken curry.

Lemongrass Tofu With Coconut Curry Sauce

Full Recipe 

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions, and a nutritional breakdown below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments, and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Description

This lemongrass tofu recipe is mouthwateringly aromatic and flavourful. Tofu is seasoned and pan-fried to crispy, then tossed in a creamy lemongrass coconut curry sauce. Served over rice, noodles or with stir-fried veggies, this tofu dish will become your new favourite vegetarian dinner.


400 g firm tofu (about 1 lb, 1 packet), cut into triangle pieces (can also be rectangles) about 0.51cm thickness

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper  (black is also okay but white is best suited for an Asian flavour profile)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/41/3 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch (for coating) 

4 tablespoons olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil for frying

For the lemongrass curry sauce

1.5 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

2 green onions, white parts finely chopped for the sauce, and the green parts diced and saved for garnish.

 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped (don’t use the hard ends of the lemongrass)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated or chopped 

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or powder

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

2 teaspoons mild curry powder

1 can coconut milk (don’t shake the can, open it and use the thickened white cream of the milk only, reserve the rest of the liquid to add a little if the sauce needs thinning out)

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice


  • Cut the tofu into a triangle or rectangular strips, about 0.5-1cm thick, and place on a board, tray or plate in one layer. Use some kitchen roll/paper to press down the tofu to absorb some of the excess moisture.
  • Sprinkle the tofu with garlic powder and pepper. Drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Set aside.
  • Prepare the curry sauce. In a skillet, heat the 1.5 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped green onions (the white part), lemongrass and ginger (but not the garlic yet). Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until they get aromatic. Then add the garlic and stir-fry for another minute, until it starts to get golden.
  • Add the chili, turmeric and curry powder and stir through. Then stir in the coconut cream/milk, add the fish sauce and sugar and cook together for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. You can reduce the heat to medium if it’s bubbling away too quickly. Finish with a tablespoon of lime juice. Taste for salt and add a pinch or two if needed. Set aside.
  • Add the cornstarch to a bowl. In a clean frying pan or skillet, heat about 1/4 cup of oil, a thin layer over medium-high heat. Once sizzling hot, dip a few pieces of tofu in corn starch and shake off the excess, add to the oil. Continue until you fill the pan but without overcrowding it too much. Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Remove to a plate and continue until all tofu is cooked.
  • Transfer the crispy tofu to the heated curry sauce and stir OR pour it over the tofu on a serving plate. Garnish with plenty of fresh coriander, some sliced red chili, wedges of lime and some optional Asian fried shallots or crushed peanuts.

Notes

For a vegan-friendly version, replace fish sauce with soy sauce or coconut aminos or half a teaspoon of salt.

If you can’t do tofu, you can make this dish with pan-fried chicken pieces instead.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 429
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Sodium: 806.5 mg
  • Fat: 19.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.2 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 12.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Tofu Curry, Lemongrass Tofu, Lemongrass Curry With Tofu, Tofu Recipes, Vegetarian, Vegan-Friendly, Curry Tofu, Coconut Curry

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