BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Lemongrass Udon Noodles with Crispy Tofu

I started thinking about lemongrass yesterday and, much like when a catchy song gets stuck in your head, I knew I had to deal with it head-on, so I went out and bought some. I puttered around in the kitchen this afternoon, pureeing it with a little of this and a little of that and eventually I had a Thai-ish, Vietnamese-ish pesto-like mixture to toss with hot Japanese Udon noodles. Check me out. I’m so worldly.

  • ingredients
  • 6 oz. fresh udon noodles $2
  • vegetable oil Pantry
  • salt Pantry
  • 6 oz. firm tofu, cubed $1.50 for 14 oz.
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, sliced (few rings reserved for garnish) $0.50
  • 2 cloves garlic Pantry
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish $1 for a bunch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce Pantry
  • 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar Pantry
  • juice of 1 lime $0.50
  • 1/2 onion, chopped $0.50
  • 2 cups baby spinach $1
  • 1 carrot, shredded $0.25
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, sliced thinly $1.50 for a head
  • 2 tbsp roasted cashews or peanuts, crushed $2 for 6 oz.
  • 1 green jalapeño, sliced $0.25
Total Cost of Ingredients $11


Boil the udon noodles in lightly salted boiling water. Drain and set aside.

Heat about 1/8” vegetable oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tofu in the hot oil until golden-brown and very crispy on one side. Flip and cook on the other side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle immediately with salt.

In a food processor or blender, combine 1 tbsp vegetable oil, the lemongrass, garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, honey/brown sugar and lime juice. The mixture should be a watery, chunky paste (lovely, right?). Taste for seasoning, adding more brown sugar/honey or soy sauce if desired, and set aside.

Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown and very fragrant. Add the noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the whole mixture and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the pan is very fragrant and the noodles begin to absorb the sauce.

To serve, divide the noodles into individual bowls (or place in one serving bowl) and top with the spinach, carrot, cabbage, cashews, more cilantro leaves, the jalapeño and a few rings of lemongrass.

Serve warm or chilled.

Serves 2-3.

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njudah, on Dec 7, 11:54 PM, wrote:

Can you direct me to some primers on cooking tofu? When I get it from various Chinese or Korean places, I like that it’s crispy on the outside and such, but whenever i’ve tried to cook it it comes out like slimy crap. any suggestions?

yoav, on Dec 8, 09:22 AM, wrote:

@njudah: chinese and korean places tend to fry the tofu in oil (deep fry, pan fry, or wok fry), after coating it in corn starch or another kind of batter. that’s what gives it its delicious crispiness (frying a healthier way to get the same effect might be to cube up some firm or super firm tofu, put it on a baking sheet, lightly brush it with some olive oil and bake it for 30-40 minutes, at 375 or 400 degrees, turning once mid-way.

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