Friday, April 8, 2011

Make Like a Cow and Eat Grass!

Okay, so I don't really want you to go into your backyard or the local park and eat that grass, I'm talking about Lemongrass!  Lemongrass is a perennial native to India that is frequently used in Thai, Vietnamese, and other Asian cooking.  The plant contains a substance called Citral which is believed to have a wide range of therapeutic effects including digestion aide, antibacterial, antiviral and has even been recently found to reverse chemically induced mutations in certain bacteria.  The entire stalk can be used when cooking and it adds a really nice citrusy kick to curries and seafood.  I love lemongrass, especially in soups (shocker, right?) but I had never cooked with it myself until last night.  I picked up a bundle of stalks last weekend at the farmers market, they looked like this.

And I decided to make a shrimp and tofu lemongrass chili stir fry, that went like this:

1 lb wild shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 package of firm tofu
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tbsp of chili sauce
4 tsp sesame oil

Per a tip I learned from Courtney over at The Granola Chronicles, I pressed my tofu block to eliminate any excess liquid to help insure firm crispy tofu.  Once this was done cut tofu into 1 inch cubes and tossed in a bowl with half of the minced garlic, 2 tbsp of the chili sauce and 2 tsp of the sesame oil to let marinate.   Let this sit for 30 minutes but if you don't have the time you can omit that step.  With your wok (or large cast iron) fired up add in the remaining oil, onion, lemongrass and garlic, let this cook about 4 minutes until browned.  Next add in your shrimp, tofu, and chili sauce.  Stir fry for about 5 minutes.

I served my stir fry over a bed of kamut with a side of sauteed baby bok choy.

I still have a bunch of Lemongrass left over so if any of you out there have suggestions on what to do with it let me know.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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