ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Lemongrass and Five Spice Tofu

Photo: Thomas J. Story

Active time 1 hr
Total time 4 hrs

Serves 6

Inspired by the sandwiches at TigerTiger, this herbaceous tofu marinade is irresistible. Fresh ginger and lemongrass excite the senses, and soy sauce adds a salty, Asian-inspired kick. Make sure the tofu is extra-firm, as softer consistencies will collapse and not be able to hold up in a sandwich. Find this blend of fennel, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger with the spices at well-stocked grocery stores. Cut, marinate, and chill tofu up to a day ahead, keeping chilled and covered the entire time.


  • 20 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped lemongrass (tender inner part)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

Nutrition Information

  • calories 117
  • caloriesfromfat 56 %
  • protein 10 g
  • fat 7 g
  • satfat 1 g
  • carbohydrate 4 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • sodium 544 mg
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cut tofu into 7 or 8 slices, each 1/2 in. thick and about 2 by 4 in. wide, and set in a 9- by 13-in. dish. In a food processor, whirl lemongrass, ginger, and garlic to mince. Add 2 tbsp. water and remaining ingredients; whirl to blend. Spoon marinade over tofu and turn to coat, distributing seasonings. Chill, covered, at least 3 hours, turning occasionally.

  2. Preheat oven to 450°. Set tofu on an oiled baking sheet, brushing off seasonings with fingers. Bake tofu until browned and a little crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. *Find this blend of fennel, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger with the spices at well-stocked grocery stores.

  4. Wine pairing: Fresh, aromatic Poet's Leap 2015 Riesling (Columbia Valley; $20).

  5. Make ahead: Through step 1, up 1 day, chilled.

  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving of tofu.

Recipe adapted from Tiger!Tiger!, San Diego