Lemongrass tofu is one of my favourite ways to enjoy tofu. My mom will make this dish anytime I come home to visit with some frozen tofu she’s had in the fridge since my family isn’t vegan and she knows I love that this is a vegan lemongrass tofu dish. It’s super easy to make, quick to serve, and can be eaten on fresh spring rolls, over rice, or rice noodles.Â
I’ve always considered myself as a chameleon. I’ve moved from place to place, switching between juxtaposing positions easily, morphing myself into a vibrant, outgoing individual, to a more muted, conservative member of a group when needed. I am adamant about always improving, probably annoying all my friends and family with my incessant need to assess my current state of being and how I can improve.
Am I overly critical? Like, on a scale to reasonable to ultra-high standards restaurant critic, where do I fall? Do I tell bad stories? How can I improve?
Yes, I sound like a satisfaction survey.
My close friends usually don’t say anything because they think I’m loopy and being weird, but I really do aspire to change and be better. I reflect on who I was as a high school student, then as a freshman in uni, then as a grad student, and I wonder if I’ve changed. It’s hard to look back and assess, because I’m naturally biased. I need a third opinion but nobody wants to be the bad guy and tell me I tell terrible stories and need to stop (I know they’re bad, I’m still working on it).
I don’t see the change in me until I go back to those places. This week I’m working from Ottawa, visiting Chris and sitting in my old study spots and basically anywhere with WiFi and an outlet. I’m surrounded by versions of me from 4 years ago and it’s so weird to see.
People who are still green and figuring out what they’re doing with their lives, finding out how to talk to boys (well, I haven’t figured that out really either but I haven’t had the need in about 6 years so that’s not a priority), navigating real life things like paying rent or doing your own car repairs.
I was a gung-ho, ultra enthusiastic, high-energy, high impact kind of girl. I saw something that I wanted to do and then I did it. Even though I know I’ve changed so much in the past, I find that it’s harder to do that now. I’m less malleable to change. I find myself falling into patterns I know aren’t the best for me, but I still do it anyway.
I speed just under the acceptable speed level. I probably could go faster or slower, but I refuse. I binge watch TV shows. I eat a whole bag of Sweet Chili Heat Doritos with a sleeve or Oreos even though I know that just because they’re vegan, they’re not good for me. I will avoid my yoga mat even though I know that if I just did 20 minutes of yoga, I would feel so much happier and better.
It’s as if aspects of my personality are starting to calcify and I can’t break out of the position to change like I used to.Â Is this something that all people start to see as they grow older? Is the gradual increase of stubbornness to change, heartburn, and inability to sleep anything more or less than 7 hours a symptom of getting older?
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion, diced OR 1 bunch of green onion, diced.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks lemongrass, cleaned and chopped (discard the dryer outer layers, because they will have flavour but will be hard to eat. You can save those for making a flavourful broth.)
- 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
- 1 lb fresh or frozen* fried tofu, sliced into strips
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (depends on how salty you like it, start with 2, then add more if needed)
- Over medium heat, saute the onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, chopped lemongrass and red chilli flakes, and stir until the lemongrass looks "melted".
- Add the tofu and soy sauce and stir fry, mixing well until the tofu has absorbed the flavour and is cooked through (about 5-10 minutes).
- Serve over rice, rice noodles, or even in rice wraps!
*I used fresh for this recipe because honestly it looks nicer, but frozen tofu will yield a different texture that's a bit more spongey from the freezing process. The water in the tofu will create pockets that are great for absorbing flavour. My mom always makes this with frozen tofu and frankly I think it's tastier, but both fresh and frozen taste good.
If you're using a garlic and lemongrass mixture, use about 1/4 cup of the mixture instead of the fresh lemongrass stalks