Tofu with tomatoes (Dau Sot Ca Chua)

Tofu with tomatoes.

Tofu with tomatoes.

What I love about this dish is how simple it is— just a couple ingredients, and though it looks elaborate, it is very easy to prepare. When the tomatoes cook down, they create their own rich, delicious sauce.

I first had this dish at Affinity Gardens in Winnipeg, and the savory, tangy tomatoes were a lovely contrast to the crispy, fried tofu. Coming back from Prague recently, I ordered this as takeout from a Vietnamese restaurant near the train station, and was delighted— so much so that I decided to make it for a non-traditional Thanksgiving this year.

A few things to keep in mind: first, you need to dry the tofu thoroughly. Open the package, pour off all the water, cut the tofu into 1 inch chunks, then set out on a paper towel— and cover with a paper towel as well. Let the tofu stand for 20 or 30 minutes— you don’t want water in your frying pan.

Tofu, tomatoes and green onions.

Tofu, tomatoes and green onions.

Second, I’ve discovered the secret to deep-frying tofu: lots of oil. That’s it. You don’t need a deep fryer, just a large pot, like the kind you would make soup in. You want to pour in enough vegetable oil to cover the tofu pieces. If you’d like more tips, I would check out Hungry Huy’s blog.

If deep-frying is too greasy for you, you could always pan fry the tofu: sear the tofu on each side, until it’s crispy.

Ingredients:

For every 1 lb of tofu, three to four large tomatoes

vegetable oil (for frying)

garlic, ginger (or other spices, to taste)

chopped green onions

tamari sauce (or soy sauce, if you’re not gluten-free)

salt, pepper

1. Open the tofu, drain, cut into 1 inch pieces and let dry on paper towels for 20-30 minutes.

2. In a large pot, pour enough vegetable oil to cover the tofu pieces completely, at least 1-2 cups. (Exact amount with vary on how large a pan you are using.) Heat at high medium.

3. When the oil is almost boiling, carefully add the tofu pieces. Let the pieces fry at least 5-8 minutes, until all the sides are crispy. Check the tofu from time to time, to make sure the pieces aren’t sticking together.

4. While the tofu is frying, chop the tomatoes into 1 inch pieces.

5. When the tofu is done frying, let the oil drain on paper towels.

6. Add the fried tofu, diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper to a pot with a little oil. Stir well, cover and heat on low medium for about ten minutes.

7. When the tomatoes are starting to soften, take off the heat, add a dash of tamari sauce.

8. Serve over rice, topped with chopped green onions.

Tofu and tomatoes, Affinity Gardens.

Tofu and tomatoes, Affinity Gardens.

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients:

For every 1 lb of tofu, three to four large tomatoes

vegetable oil (for frying)

garlic, ginger (or other spices, to taste)

chopped green onions

tamari sauce (or soy sauce, if you’re not gluten-free)

salt, pepper

1. Open the tofu package, drain, cut into 1 inch pieces and let dry on paper towels for 20-30 minutes.

2. In a large pot, pour enough vegetable oil to cover the tofu pieces completely, at least 1-2 cups. (Exact amount with vary on how large a pan you are using.) Heat at high medium.

3. When the oil is almost boiling, carefully add the tofu pieces. Let the pieces fry at least 5-8 minutes, until all the sides are crispy. Check the tofu from time to time, to make sure the pieces aren’t sticking together.

4. While the tofu is frying, chop the tomatoes into 1 inch pieces.

5. When the tofu is done frying, let the oil drain on paper towels.

6. Add the fried tofu, diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper to a pot with a little oil. Stir well, cover and heat on low medium for about ten minutes.

7. When the tomatoes are starting to soften, take off the heat, add a dash of tamari sauce.

8. Serve over rice, topped with chopped green onions.

tomatoes

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4 responses to “Tofu with tomatoes (Dau Sot Ca Chua)

  1. Hey thanks for the shoutout! I share your excitement for this dish–it’s so simple to make although vegetarian is a hard sell for people I hang out with. Also glad to see you’re frying your own tofu 🙂

  2. Thanks for the recipe inspiration, and for stopping by! I’m very glad I decided to try and fry my own tofu— it’s easy, and I’m glad I don’t have to go out to eat to enjoy it.

  3. This is exactly the kind of simple, healthy, but vibrantly flavorful dish I could eat all the time! I know I should probably wait for prime tomato season for the best results… But I might just cheat and try it out with some decent canned San Marzanos in the meantime.

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