Friday, June 27, 2014

AFF Vietnam #2 - Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)

I wanted to make this tofu recipe from my Vietnamese Food and Cooking book; Spicy Tofu with Lemongrass, Basil and Peanuts. I had already bought the tofu and lemongrass. I even dug out the peanuts from the pantry. But when I went to water my plants this morning, I realised that my basil plant has shrivelled in this past few days heat!!! I didn't want to risk killing my basil plant completely by removing “one bunch of fresh basil” as required for this dish.

I quickly asked my best friend; Mr. Google for a suitable Vietnamese Tofu Dish. There were many but I finally settled on this dish; Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot).

Vietnamese Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)

This dish is nice. Crispy tofu skin contrasting with soft tofu insides. The lemongrass bits are also an interesting addition to the common pairing of garlic and chilli. This additional flavour profile gives the dish its' Vietnamese feel. The only difficulty is making sure the lemongrass, garlic, chilli mixture stays on the tofu!!! Next time, I might mix in a bit of cornstarch to bind the mixture together with the tofu. Additionally the cornstarch coating on the tofu would make the tofu skin crispier too.

Here's the recipe:
Crisp Silken Tofu Crusted in Lemongrass (Dau Hu Xa Ot)
  • 450 g silken or firm tofu
  • 1 lemon grass stem, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely diced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 coriander sprigs 
Drain the tofu and slice into 5 x 10 cm pieces, then leave on the chopping board or transfer to a tray. In a bowl, add the lemon grass, chilli, garlic, salt, sugar and pepper.

Mix all the ingredients together, then coat both sides of the tofu with the mixture.

Heat a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the oil and pan-fry each side of the tofu for 3 minutes until browned and crisp.

Garnish with coriander and serve with jasmine rice.

From Chef Luke Nguyen

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest – IndoChina 
hosted by Kelly Siew Cooks 


  1. I love the colour of this dish. Thank you for your submission!

  2. Bookmarking this on our non meat day

  3. Kelly Siew - I agree. The colours of the dish makes it look appetizing. Fortunately, the taste matches its look. Btw, I'm glad to have participated. It's been fun.

    Edith C - I hope you will find the dish as yummy as i did.