Deep-fried tofu puffs are popular in Southeast Asia and are good with any Asian-style stew.
1 tbsp. sunflower oil 2 heads bok choy, sliced 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced on diagonal 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on diagonal 4 oz. baby corn, cut down the center lengthwise 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced 2 (2-inch) pieces ginger root, shredded 4 cups vegetable bouillon 2 cups canned coconut milk 3 tbsp. tamari 2 tbsp. red curry paste 1–2 tsp. sambal oelek, or another chilli paste 1 (1-cup) package miso soup mix 2 stalks lemongrass, smashed 2 sprigs laksa leaves (Vietnamese mint), if available, or 1 tsp. dried mint sea salt 1 (1-lb.) package tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into 1-inch pieces oil for deep frying 4 oz. rice vermicelli noodles 2 cups bean sprouts 1 lime, quartered, to garnish
Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan and stir-fry the bok choy until just wilted, then remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, put the carrot, celery, corn, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry until hot, then add the bouillon, coconut milk, tamari, curry paste, chili sauce, miso soup mix, mint, lemongrass, and laksa sprigs or mint. Season with salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and laksa stalks. While the stew is cooking, prepare the tofu puffs. Heat oil to 375°F in a wok or deep fryer. Deep-fry the tofu cubes in batches until they are golden brown and puffed. Drain on paper towels and keep warm. Meanwhile, put the noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and let soak for 5 minutes. Drain and divide between 4 warmed bowls. Return the bok choy to the stew pan with the bean sprouts and heat through, pour over the noodles, top with the tofu puffs, and serve with a slice of lime. Serves 4