Note to my brother Karl: I'm aware that this post is going to make me sound like a wuss, and we're all impressed that you drink gallons of sriracha for breakfast. ;) I bet you'd at least admit this dish has a modicum of spice if you tried it though.
My lil downtown abode
Cybelle, Janice, Lauren, Sara, Sirli, me
Mandarin salad (by Sara)
Red curry eggplant & haricot vert (which smoked up my apartment somethin' fierce)
Ginger fried rice (same exact side I made on the 11th, and truthfully I'm shocked I held out this long)
Tom kha tofu
Cappuccino trifle (by Lauren, who totally didn't bring leftovers to work for breakfast even though I'm sure she could sense my intense craving)
In case you were wondering, this is exactly the amount of hurt that 5 ladies can put on a trifle:
Stories about Lauren's kids (Srsly, girl has the most entertaining stories and she knows how to tell 'em. Y'all should probably be jealous if you don't know her.)
Tales from the Work Bathroom (It's like Tales from the Crypt but the host is scarier)
Much later: Me going full PretzElrod and falling asleep in the living room. I hear there were pictures taken, but I'm going to be okay with that. You try making soup 24 days in a row and see how bright-eyed/bushy-tailed you are!
I got to use fresh uncut lemongrass for the first time!
I think the guy at Saigon Market is starting to think I'm incompetent. I've been there two days in a row and I can never find anything without help. He probably laughs at me when I leave, like "Pffffft that chick is totes gonna use that lemongrass INCORRECTLY." But I think I get the last laugh—I may not know where dude keeps the coconut milk, but the flavors in this soup were uhhhhhmayzeeng.
I say the flavors, because that part was undisputed. However, the spiciness was a bit on the no-joke side. Everyone put up a valiant fight, but only Janice was in the clean bowl club.
It was seriously good! Seriously, seriously! I would just dial the heat down a bit if I made it again to make it more widely palatable. I've never had a really spicy tom kha before, so I'm happy for the experience. And Cybelle said she was grateful for the sinus-clearing treatment (Coco's Soup Spa—should I open it?).
Adapted from toomanychefs.net
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 quart vegetable broth
2 14 oz. cans coconut milk
3 cloves finely minced garlic
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pound firm tofu
1/3 cup thinly sliced ginger
2 lemon grass stalks, trimmed and cut into 3-4" lengths.
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon cayenne
2 tablespoons sriracha
2 tablespoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, no stalks
12 oz. can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
12 oz. can enoki mushrooms, drained and rinsed
Press the block of tofu under a weight between paper towels for 20 minutes.
Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces, then coat with tofu marinade listed above and let sit for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350-F.
Spread the tofu in one layer on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.
Combine all the other ingredients except the mushrooms and cilantro in a pot, stirring well. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Remove tofu and flip, then put it back in the oven for 15 more minutes.
You'll have ginger and lemongrass detritus in the bottom of your bowl—you probably don't want to attempt to eat those. If you'd rather strain the soup, that works too.
Add the tofu, mushrooms and cilantro and cook on low until mushrooms are heated and cilantro has wilted.