Vegetarian Recipe: Sambal Tofu and Mushroom Lasagna

Recipe by Chef Jo Ann Ng

Here is your chance to expand your culinary repertoire at home. This recipe is by Chef Jo Ann Ng from Vanilla Bar & Café. Chef Jo Ann is an award-winning chef who is well known for her contemporary Japanese creations.

This recipe was especially crafted for the culinary class ‘Cooking with Gourmet Greens‘. The event was presented by FIJI Water, with the intent of championing the pure, pristine taste of vegetables by taking the initiative into home kitchens.

The Sambal Tofu, Mushroom and Aubergine Lasagna is an extremely interesting vegetarian take on traditional Italian Lasagna.


Sauce Ingredients

• 2 tsp olive oil
• 400gm minced Tau Kwa (Firm textured tofu)
• 100gm Shimeiji Mushrooms
• 2 tbsp chopped onions
• 2 tsp chopped garlic
• 1 tsp caster sugar
• 1 chopped tomato
• 1⁄2 cup FIJI water
• 1 pc sliced aubergine
• 250gm dried lasagna pasta sheets
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 cups mozzarella cheese
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Chives to garnish

Vegetarian Sambal Ingredients

• 300gm chilli paste
• 6 red chilli
• 25gm bird’s eye chillies (chilli padi) – optional for spicier sambal
• 150gm chopped tomato
• 1 tbsp tamarind paste
• 1 tsp turmeric powder
• 3 tbsp vegetarian or mushroom granules
• 75gm castor sugar
• 1 tsp salt


  1. For the vegetarian sambal, combine chopped tomatoes, chilli paste, bird’s eye chillies, and turmeric in a food processor. Blend into a fine paste. Heat oil in wok and stir-fry until fragrant and oil separates. Add tamarind paste, sugar and salt to taste. Dish out and leave to cool.
  2. In a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until light brown. Add minced tau kwa and shitake mushrooms. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 8 minutes or until browned. Add vegetarian sambal, FIJI water and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Boil lasagna sheets as per packet instructions and set aside.
  4. Lightly grease a 7cm-deep, 25cm (base) square baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup mince mixture over base of dish. Arrange one quarter of pasta sheets over meat mixture, breaking sheets to fit. Spoon one-third of the remaining mince mixture over pasta. Top with one layer of sliced aubergine and chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with one-quarter of the cheddar cheese. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining pasta sheets, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with foil.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Turn oven to top heat and bake for another 10 minutes or until pasta is tender and cheese golden. Stand for 10 minutes before serving.

If you love this dish, then chances are that you’ll love Chef Jo Ann’s recipe for Creamy Miso Pasta with Brussel Sprouts & Zucchini Ribbons too – you can check it out here.