One of my all-time favorite dishes is Lemongrass Beef and Rice Noodles. It is so refreshingly light and flavorful with the aromatic lemongrass, fresh greens and herbs and springy noodles. When I decided to focus more on a vegetarian diet, this was one of the first dishes I revamped by substituting the beef for tofu. Believe me, you won’t miss the meat. Using firm tofu makes the dish really hearty and gives it that meaty texture. The seasonings enhance the tofu without making it overly salty and you can still serve it with a dipping sauce. This vegetarian version is just as flavorful as the original recipe. So if you’re looking for a new go-to vegetarian dish, you must give this one a try. Enjoy!
Watch the video below for instructions.
14 oz firm tofu
1 small leek
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp minced lemongrass
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian stir-fry sauce
4 oz bean sprouts
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
20 oz cooked rice vermicelli/thin rice noodles
1 bunch mint, plucked and washed
1 bunch cilantro, washed
2 cups chopped green leaf lettuce
1/2 cup carrot and radish pickles
1 lime, cut into wedges
Trim off the end of the leek and discard. Cut off a 1/2-inch section of leek, white part, and finely mince. Set aside on a small plate. Cut off a 2-inch section of leek, green part, and then cut into thin strips. Set aside on the same plate.
Remove the tofu from its packaging and gently rinse with cool water. Pat the tofu dry using paper towels. Cut the tofu into strips.
Heat a wok over Medium High heat and when hot add vegetable oil. Add the minced leeks and lemongrass and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the tofu and pan-fry for 5-6 minutes or until the pieces are golden brown.
Add the remaining leeks. Drizzle the soy sauce and vegetarian stir-fry sauce over the tofu pieces. Toss everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the bean sprouts. Toss together and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the dish, put the chopped green leaf lettuce into a salad bowl. Add a layer of rice noodles and then the stir-fried lemongrass tofu on top of the noodles. Add fresh herbs and a generous amount of carrot and radish pickles. Top with the crushed roasted peanuts.
Serve with Honey Soy Dipping Sauce, a vegetarian dipping sauce or salad dressing.
Yields: 4 servings