Lemongrass tofu (also known as đậu hũ sả) is one of my favourite ways to enjoy tofu. It’s super easy to make, quick to serve, and delicious in fresh spring rolls, over rice, or rice noodles.
My mom makes this dish anytime I come home to visit with some frozen tofu she has in the fridge. Back before my family went vegetarian, my mom would always have the ingredients for đậu hũ sả at the ready since this was a crowd-pleasing dish.
Lemongrass tofu is super easy to make and the main ingredients are shallots/onion, lemongrass, tofu, and a bit of soy sauce. This dish is pretty common in a lot of Vietnamese restaurants! However, you may find restaurants use fish sauce unless it explicitly says “chay” (which means vegetarian).
Over the years I’ve made versions of this lemongrass tofu with fresh lemongrass, frozen lemongrass, shallots vs onions vs scallions, frozen fried tofu or regular fried tofu. Out of laziness, my go to tends to be using frozen lemongrass (about 1/3 cup), shallots, and regular fried tofu.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium sized onion, diced OR 1 bunch of green onion, diced OR two shallots, 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.) OR 1/3 cup frozen lemongrass
- 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 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