Hope your weekend was peachy, guys? Ours was pretty nice apart from wasting some time in Accident and Emergency and getting exasperated by the state of the health system. For the last 9 days, I have been suffering from some very unpleasant skin sensations on one side of my back. The skin itches, tingles and burns (especially at night) yet there does not seem to be any outward signs of anything being wrong other than three smallish red bumps, which don’t appear to change as the days go by…
Initially, I concluded that I must have been bitten by something and intended to let my body deal with it, but as the symptoms worsened I attempted to make an appointment with my GP. No such luck! No appointments for like forever (over a week to be exact). So I went to a pharmacy and asked for a consultation, which was a waste of time as the pharmacist simply laughed at me as he could not see anything. Really, dude? I appreciate that the lack of obvious skin changes poses a difficulty for him, but he could have been a bit kinder about it. I did not appreciate being treated as a hypochondriac.
When the itching got so bad that it woke me up at 4 AM on Sunday and kept me awake till dawn, I got a bit more desperate. I decided to try my luck in a hospital walk-in centre for minor injuries. 2 hrs of waiting later, I wish I hadn’t. I got told that it is not an emergency and I need to see my GP. Grrr, thanks a bunch! Well, my GP appointment is finally coming up this Thursday and I am praying for this stubborn thing to either go away or at least get much worse or else I won’t get any medical help again.
To distract myself from my back, I’ve been cooking lots and this dish is the first one I’m excited to share with you. Like a few other recipes on this website, this dish was inspired by an extremely disappointing version I had recently at a restaurant. It sounded marvellous on the menu, but it did not live up to expectations. It was completely unseasoned and lacked any flavour whatsoever. The experience has inspired me to try and create a tastier version of it in my own kitchen and I am really happy with the outcome. Since I had lots of lemongrass stalks in my fridge (from my last trip to the Asian greengrocers where I tend to get overexcited and buy too much) I really went for it and used 5 lemongrass stalks in the sauce and I think that it is pretty well balanced, but you can probably get away with just 4 (I know that they tend to sell them in twos in UK supermarkets).
Traditionally, the tofu gets fried for this Vietnamese-inspired dish before it gets immersed in the flavoursome sauce, but if, like me, you are a little oil-phobic, I recommend baking the tofu in the oven instead. My rationale is that it makes the dish healthier and since the tofu gets served in the sauce it loses its crispy texture very quickly anyway, so you won’t miss out that much. Having said that, I did fry it for the photos as it simply looks better and that’s always an important consideration when it comes to the food photography.
PS: If you make my lemongrass tofu in tomato sauce, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
OPTIONAL SAUCE INGREDIENTS*
TOFU AND REMAINING INGREDIENTS