Tofu in Coconut Sauce with Ginger and Lemongrass


For dinner last night I made this tofu dish that was amazing. We ate it over jasmine rice and it made the house smell so good! For dessert I made some caramelized pinapple with rum sauce and served it over vanilla ice cream.

Both the dinner and dessert recipes came from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. It’s one of my favorite cookbooks and I highly recommend it for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.


Here is the recipe:

Tofu in Coconut Sauce with Ginger and Lemongrass

1-pound package Chinese-style firm tofu, drained
3 T. peanut oil
8 shallots, thinly sliced, or 1 small white onion
Salt and freshly milled white pepper
1 bunch cilantro, the leaves plus a little of the stems
1 T. finely diced fresh ginger
2 T. minced lemongrass, from the middle of the stalk, or grated zest of 1 lemon
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
1 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk plus water to make 2 cups
3 pieces galangal, optional
1 t. soy sauce, preferably mushroom soy
cilantro sprigs for garnish

Drain the tofu, then dice it into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat 2 T. oil in a medium skillet, add the shallots, and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season with a few pinches salt, then add half the cilantro. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat a wok, add the remaining oil, and swirl it around the sides. When hot, add the ginger, lemongrass, and jalapeno. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, add the coconut milk mixture and galangal and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the tofu, and simmer gently until heated through and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the soy, season with plenty of pepper, then add the shallots and remaining cilantro. Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs.

I used lemon zest instead of lemongrass and didn’t add the galangal (don’t even know what it is). The tofu I used was silken-firm. I think it would be good with tempeh too but I can’t get that here. It was easy to make and tasted great!

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  1. Sandy

    I just found your blog while looking through the word press header. Your bread looks so good that it makes me hungry. I will be back for more recipes. What a neat life you have!

    6:08 pm  Jun 24th, 2006
  2. jodie.

    galangal is ginger.

    2:40 am  Nov 8th, 2007
  3. Adele

    Galangal is similar to ginger, but isn’t ginger. It has its own flavor. You can buy it at any indonesian store, both wet or dry.

    1:23 am  Nov 12th, 2007
  4. Nicole

    Adele: Thanks for the clarification! I’ll be moving back to the states next week and will have better access to other types of markets than I do here. I’ll keep an eye out for galangal and try it in some recipes! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    10:39 am  Nov 12th, 2007
  5. Food Links July 2008

    […] to make pork and broccoli stir fry, ginger salmon tartare, meatballs with ginger and radish greens, tofu in coconut sauce with ginger and lemongrass, white chili, ginger-and-cardamom poached pears, and white chocolate and ginger ice cream. […]

    7:21 am  Jul 4th, 2008
  6. Ken

    Made this last night with just a few mods due to ingredient availability. Came out excellent. Simmered the tofu/coconut mixture down more than called for since we weren’t having rice to soak up the sauce, and it came out great.

    7:11 am  Feb 16th, 2010
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