This beautiful-looking dish from Brett McGregor's new book Chop Chop is brilliant. So simple, yet the final product is a sight to behold and has great textures and flavour. The key here is to ensure you have the best stock possible — a homemade stock will always taste better than a bought one.
Serves: 4 as a starter
300 grams firm tofu, diced
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
3cm knob of ginger, grated
1 lemongrass stalk, bruised
3 cups vegetable stock
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 cups black rice, cooked as directed
small handful of fresh coriander
Place the tofu in a medium-sized bowl. Mix the soy sauce and sesame oil together in a small bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil over a medium heat. Pour the soy mixture over the cubed tofu and toss to evenly coat each piece. Add the tofu to the hot pan and brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining coconut oil in the same pan over a medium heat. Add the carrot and onion and cook until soft and fragrant. Add half of the spring onion (reserving the rest for garnish), the garlic, ginger and lemongrass stalk.
Cook for 2–3 minutes until very fragrant. Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove the lemongrass from the pan. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and add the lime zest and juice.
Place a serving of rice in each bowl, pour the soup over, top with tofu, the reserved spring onion and coriander.