Lemongrass pork chop is a very popular dish that can be found in almost all Vietnamese restaurants. It’s also quite common in Hong Kong and known as cha chan tang（茶餐廳）. A proper lemongrass pork chop is marinated in a fragrant brown lemongrass sauce for hours before it’s dunked into hot oil for deep frying.
In this vegetarian version, I am using tofu in place of the meat, which makes it a more delicate dish that takes less time to marinate.
300 g firm tofu
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp red chili, thinly sliced; remove seeds for less heat
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, remove ends and tough stems on top, lightly smash soft stem, then mince
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
A few shakes of white pepper powder
2 tbsp corn starch
Vegetable oil for cooking
1 Scallion, finely chopped
Mix all ingredients together (except tofu and corn starch) in a bowl until well combined. Add tofu, flipping halfway through marination process. Marinate for 20 minutes to 1 hour in fridge.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in shallow frying pan. Take tofu out of marinade, removing excess liquid. On a small plate, coat tofu with corn starch and shake off excess. Sear on all sides until golden and lightly crispy. Sprinkle with finely chopped scallions before serving.