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Lemongrass tofu in a bowl with white rice

Lemongrass Tofu

Inspired by a famous dish at a beloved local Vietnamese restaurant, this lemongrass tofu is rich with flavor and is one of my family's very favorite ways to eat tofu. Made with fresh lemongrass or lemongrass paste, chiles, and fish sauce, this savory dish is delicious!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour


  • Large bowl
  • Large non-stick skillet
  • Plate
  • Paper towels


  • 2 stalks lemongrass finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 Thai red chili peppers chopped, see Notes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 1 large pinch salt use more or less to taste
  • 1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral oil, divided
  • ½ of one onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts divided
  • 1 cup steamed rice optional, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro optional, for garnish


  • In large bowl, combine lemongrass, fish sauce, soy sauce, diced chili peppers, chili flakes, ground turmeric, agave, and salt. Once combined, add cubed tofu and stir to coat tofu evenly. Set aside and let tofu marinate in mixture for 30 minutes.
    All ingredients for lemongrass tofu, with tofu in a large bowl
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic to hot oil and stir until fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Reduce to low heat and cook until onions are soft, approximately 3 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to plate and keep warm.
  • Quickly wipe out skillet with paper towels. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add tofu and marinade to skillet. Turn tofu regularly to ensure cubes cook evenly on all sides, cooking approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Return onions and garlic to skillet. Cook, uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes, then add ⅛ cup (2 tablespoons) chopped peanuts to skillet. Stir to incorporate.
    Lemongrass tofu in large skillet
  • Portion lemongrass tofu into serving bowls over steamed rice (optional) and garnish with remaining peanuts and chopped cilantro (optional).


  • The Thai red chili peppers are really hot, especially if you're not used to them, so feel free to lower the quantity used. You can always add more if you need more kick.
  • Make it Vegetarian/Vegan: Skip the fish sauce and use additional soy sauce in its place.
Recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using ingredients listed, including steamed rice. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by 4. Result will be the weight of one serving.


Serving Size: 1serving | Calories: 293kcal | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 188mg | Total Carbs: 23g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Net Carbs: 21g | Vitamin A: 63IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3mg
Recipe By:Cheryl Malik