"I learnt this recipe from a lady who also taught me how to make my own tofu. Her name is Mrs Ha, and she and her family have been making fresh tofu in Quy Nhon for five generations. Eating freshly made tofu is so different to eating tofu that has been packaged and sitting in a refrigerator for a week. If you ever get the chance to purchase freshly made tofu, please do so!" - Chef Luke Nguyen



450g silken or firm tofu
1 lemongrass stem, finely  chopped, white part only
1 red bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
coriander sprigs, to garnish
sliced chilli, to garnish
soy sauce, to serve


Drain the tofu and cut into 5 cm x 10 cm chunks. Leave on the chopping board, or transfer to a tray.

In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, chilli, garlic, salt, sugar and pepper and mix together. Reserve half the spice mixture, and use the remainder to coat the tofu on both sides.

Heat a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the oil and fry the tofu  for 3  minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp. Transfer to a serving  plate.

Add the remaining spice mixture to the pan and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Spoon the mixture over the tofu.

Garnish with the coriander and sliced chilli and serve with soy sauce and jasmine rice.

Recipe from Luke's Book - The Food of Vietnam. Click here to purchase the book now.

Phuong Nguyen