To my 'many' blog followers out there (at the time of writing this I have a whopping 5), I apologize for the long delay in posts. A long full time work week, followed by a week of amazing weather and relaxing with friends, followed by 10 days of having my mom and aunt in Helsinki, it has taken me this long to sort through pictures and have the patience to sit inside and update my blog. It doesn't mean I haven't been cooking- or enjoying some fabulous meals in Stockholm or Tallinn for that matter (which I'll post later about) :)
This is another great light summer meal that uses snap peas, which are in season now. I modified this recipe from another great cookbook 'Vegetarian Suppers' by Deborah Madison. Since the tofu is simmered in the broth, even less oil is needed. A couple days after I made this, I made it again. And now that it's been about a month since I made it that I'm finally posting it, I'm getting another craving. See, the thing is- it's just simple, delicious and it doesn't leave you feeling heavy afterwards.
With tofu, normally, I start by slicing the pieces into 1'' thick slices and then cutting them on the diagonal to make medium sized triangles. Then, I lay the pieces flat on a non-stick skillet without any oil and cook them for about 10 minutes on each side at really low heat, maybe on my electric oven, I use a mark 2 or 3. That evaporates a lot of the moisture and makes the tofu more firm so that it doesn't fall apart when added to the broth with the other ingredients. But I do this with tofu in most recipes these days.
Start with the broth, which is a flavoring most akin to some Thai foods. (I just received a Thai cookbook from my awesome neighbor back in the States and I can't wait to go to the Asian grocer and get cooking again) The broth can simmer for a long time if you want a good flavor infusion, but I would say that about 15 minutes is enough, otherwise a lot evaporates and then you have more of a reduction sauce than a broth.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes
3 tbs chopped fresh or frozen lemon grass (I buy mine fresh, but freeze what I don't use)
2 slices of ginger (this can stay good in the 'fridge for months)
1 tbs lime juice (or zest of one lime)
2 tbs fresh cilantro (I use a cilantro pesto that I buy in the jar, because I can't seem to keep fresh cilantro growing very long)
pinch of good salt
1 tbs soy sauce
couple drops of Thai fish sauce (optional)
1 tbs brown sugar
1.) With 1 1/2 cups water (about 4dl) in a skillet, add the lemon grass, lime, ginger, cilantro and salt and bring to a boil.
2.) Simmer for about 15 minutes and then strain so that only the liquid remains.
3.) Add soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Adjust the seasoning to your likings.
1 package of firm tofu
1 tsp peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 scallions, including the greens, sliced
sugar snap peas (a good generous handful)
1 tsp tumeric
jalopeno or red chilli, sliced on the diagonal (optional)
1.) Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic, onion, scallions and chilli. Stir fry on high heat for about 1 minute.
2.) Add the peas, turmeric, and tofu and stir fry for another minute.
3.) Add the broth and simmer until the peas look a vibrant green color and the tofu is cooked through (if you used my preparation method for the tofu this should not take more than a couple minutes).
4.) Season with salt and pepper and serve over jasmine or sticky rice, or somen noodles.