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Vegetarian Chinese Lemon Tofu & Green Vegetables

May 10, 2010

Vegetarian Chinese Dishes

This vegetarian Chinese Lemon Tofu is adapted from an old Women’s Weekly ‘Lemon Chicken’ recipe and is probably something that should only be enjoyed occasionally :) being delicious lemony pieces of deep fried tofu… yum! I love Chinese Vegetables to accompany this somewhat not so healthy dish and combined with almonds and ginger it is a great way to enjoy a variety of healthy and nutritious green veggies. Use whatever ones you have on hand, spinach, snow peas, green capsicum and bean sprouts also work very well. Serve the dishes warm with plenty of steamed rice and enjoy!!

Chinese Lemon Tofu

Vegetarian Chinese Lemon Tofu

Preparation Time: 30mins (+ 30mins to soak the tofu) // Serves 4

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  • 600g (21 oz) organic firm tofu
  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 1-2 tbs roasted sesame seeds
  • rice bran oil for deep frying

for the batter

  • ½ cup corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 3 tbs water
  • 4 free-range egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • salt & pepper

for the Lemon Sauce

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs corn flour (cornstarch)
  • 1-2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbs organic honey
  • ½ tbs brown sugar

Dice the tofu into 5cm/2inch x 1cm/0.4inch cubes and soak in the vegetable broth for 30 minutes; strain and drain on absorbent paper; set aside.

To make the sauce combine all the ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a gradually boil and stir over a low heat for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is clear and syrupy. Keep the sauce warm as it will start to congeal if it is allowed to cool.

To make the batter gradually add the water to the corn flour (cornstarch) and then add the egg yolks stirring until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil till hot in a deep fryer or deep frypan. Dip each piece of tofu into the batter and allow any excess to drip off before carefully placing into the hot oil to deep fry.

Only add a few pieces of tofu at a time and cook until the batter turns golden; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on absorbent paper. Keep the cooked pieces warm while you cook the remainder.

Once all the pieces of tofu are cooked, slice them in half and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Combine the tofu with the sliced shallots and drizzle over the sauce. Toss to combine.

Serve warm accompanied with steamed rice and Chinese Green Vegetables.

This recipe was inspired by Lemon Chicken found in the Women’s Weekly Chinese Cooking Class Cookbook.

Chinese Green Vegetables

Chinese Green Vegetables

Preparation Time: 15 mins // Serves 4

  • 300g (10.5 oz) broccoli florets
  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 300g (10.5 oz) bok choy
  • 70g (2.5 oz) blanched almonds
  • 1 tbs fresh grated ginger
  • ¾ cup warm vegetable broth
  • 1 tbs rice bran oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

Peel and slice the onion into wedges and then peel apart the layers. Slice the celery diagonally into thick pieces and roughly chop the bok choy.

Heat the oil in a wok or large fry pan; add the blanched almonds and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden; add the vegetables and ginger; toss together lightly to coat with oil.

Add the warm broth and bring to a gently simmer, continue to cook, tossing occasionally for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Serve as a side dish or light main accompanied with steamed rice and soy sauce to taste.

Vegetarian Chinese Dishes

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  • tigerfish May 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Love simple dishes like these at home 😀

  • shona May 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    i may have to make this for dinner….

  • Veggie num num : Vegetarian Sang Choi Bao May 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

    […] recipe is an appetizer we made to accompany the Lemon Tofu and Chinese Green Vegetables and teamed with the recipe for Hoisin Tofu and Almonds would make a complete vegetarian Chinese […]

  • Veggie num num : World Vegetarian Day October 1, 2010 at 9:46 am

    […] Lemon Tofu & Chinese Green Vegetables […]

  • gabrielle December 29, 2010 at 10:28 am

    mmm just made this.. SO AMAZING!! perfect recipe, thank you so much

  • Trudy (veggie num num) January 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments all :):) just reminded me of how good this is… think I’ll be making it again tonight!!

  • Rachel October 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I don’t know how often you check these things, so I may not get a reply, but I’m confused about the batter. In the ingredients there is not water listed, but to make the batter it says to “gradually add the water to the corn flour.” How much water would this be?
    This looks delicious so I hope I’ll be able to make it! Thanks!

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num October 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Rachel! Opps sorry about this, my mistake :) I have now amended the batter ingredients to include 3 tablespoons of water, thank you for letting me know and I hope you get to try this delicious recipe soon 😀

  • Clare October 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I would love to try this recipe as I’m always looking for new things to do with tofu – but as a vegan is there something I can use to replace the egg yolks, or should I just leave them out? Thanks! :)

  • Trudy ~ Veggie num num October 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Hi Clare! You can try replacing the egg yoks with a store brought egg replacer or simply try doubling the amount of water and add enough extra corn flour (cornstarch) to form a thick batter – this should work quite well – I really hope you get to enjoy this super delicious recipe soon 😀