Thursday, February 16, 2012

Galangal Tofu with Lemongrass-Scented Broth

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This past weekend, I cleaned out my freezer and discovered several containers of frozen homemade stock lurking in the very back, alongside a full bag of hollow lemongrass husks, which I usually use to make tea. As I removed them from the freezer to thaw, I decided I'd combine the two to make a delicate and flavorful broth for a noodle dish. Light and delicate, yet rich and savory, this is the perfect base for any asian-style noodle dish. Although there is a lot going on in this bowl, the star here is the broth—besides the tofu and soba noodles, all of the other components are nice, but not necessary.

for the tofu
1 block of tofu, pressed and cut into triangles
3/4 cup mirin
1 TB prepared galangal root
1 TB soy sauce

for the broth
small piece of ginger, about the size of your thumb, cut into thin matchstick-sized pieces
5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced

4-6 cups of homemade stock
4-6 lemongrass stalks, hearts removed and reserved
1-2 frozen cubes of vegan fish sauce (optional)
2 TB soy sauce
1 TB sugar

optional components to add
cooked soba noodles
gently sauteed and sliced lemongrass hearts
sliced carrots
sliced scallions
raw kale

shallots, gently sauteed
dried shiitake caps, soaked in hot water for about 10 minutes
fresh cilantro

In a shallow glass pyrex dish, combine the mirin, galangal and soy sauce. Place the well-pressed tofu into the marinade, flip to ensure a good coverage of marinade, and place in the refrigerator for a few hours.

To make the broth, start by gently sauteing the ginger and garlic in a bit of oil in a medium-sized sauce pan for about 5 minutes
over medium-low heat. Add in the stock, hollow lemongrass husks, vegan fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Stir well. Increase the heat to medium, and immediately dial it back to low once it starts to simmer.

To make the tofu, heat a bit of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the tofu and saute on each side for about 7 minutes, of until well-browned. Remove the lemongrass husks, then ladle the soup into bowls, top with tofu, and finish with whatever optional components you want.


  1. oh it looks so pretty! I saw a pho broth recipe recently and I really want to make something with lemongrass. maybe I can find some galangal too. Is it a paste that you use?

  2. Thanks foodfeud! I used prepared galagal root to make the marinade:, which should be available in most groceries. It's slightly pickled, which mellows out the spicy tones, so the tofu was rather sweet. Went perfectly with the broth! : )

  3. Now to see if I can get my hands on some galangal root in small town WY. I must say the odds are against me...when we moved here and I requested seitan I think the whole town came to a screeching halt and a few minds melted.

  4. Beautiful looking bowl of noodles! Usually when I clean out the freezer I end up throwing away items that have been around much too long. :-)

  5. Maria, Ha! I am from the South and your comment made me wonder what would happen if I had asked for seitan while there. Although I have access to many more ingredients in Boston, I must admit, my first impulse is to order most everything from Amazon, which I usually do!

  6. Thanks chow vegan! I do too, except everything I cleaned out this time somehow all went together! ; )

  7. Galangal root? Well that's something that's new to me.I love the flavor combination of this dish, although I've never cooked with fresh lemongrass myself. Do you think dried lemongrass would work in it's place?

  8. Maggie, galagal root is amazing, very similar to ginger but spicy in a different way. I'm not so sure dried lemongrass would do the trick— nothing can replace the taste of fresh lemongrass, it's so unique!

  9. i've never made my own broth before, but this post makes me want to try it for sure!

    ps= my favorite part of the picture is the shiitake cap peaking out of the top of the soup..i want to reach into the computer screen with a spoon and take it.


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