Southeast Asian Vegetables with Tofu


October 25, 2012

Author: KatieChin

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I was so honored to participate in City of Hope’s KNBC Channel 4 Los Angeles segment in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  As City of Hope’s (COH) Culinary Ambassador, my role is to educate people about the 5 Super Foods – mushrooms, pomegranates, blueberries, cinnamon and grape seed extract – that Dr. Chen and his team at COH have identified as having potential cancer-fighting powers.  For the segment, I made this hearty, soul-satisfying one-pot dish with salty, sweet and hot flavors from the lemongrass, Thai Chilies, cilantro and coconut milk.  It stars not one but two kinds of the Super Hero Super Food Mushrooms – Shitake and White Button Mushrooms.  This is a complete one-pot meal which you can make in your rice cooker!  Substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth for vegan adaptation of this dish.


Me with KNBC Producer Daisy Lin demonstrating Super Foods recipes at the City of Hope Campus. Humbled to have been interviewed along with Dr. Chen of City of Hope!


1 14 oz can coconut milk

1 1/2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp Sriracha

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground white pepper

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 bunch green onions (white and green parts) cut into 1-inch pieces

1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 6 inches only, bulb and tough outer leaves removed, bruised with a mallet

1 Thai chili pepper, minced

2 cups chopped butternut squash (2-inch chunks)

1/2 cup halved stemmed shitake mushrooms

1/2 cup sliced white button mushrooms

1/2 cup barley

1/2 cup diced firm tofu, blotted dry

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, broth, soy sauce, fish sauce and chili sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In the rice cooker bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, green onions, lemongrass, chili pepper, squash, mushrooms and barley. Pour the coconut milk mixture over the top. Set the rice cooker for the Regular cycle and set a timer for 30 minutes.
  • When the timer sounds, check to make sure the vegetables and barley are tender. If necessary, continue cooking, checking for doneness every 5 minutes. Switch to the Keep Warm cycle and stir in tofu. Close the lid and let stand for 35 minutes, then serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and peanuts.