Easy Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Tomato Recipe: Đậu Sốt Cà Chua Guide

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine biting into a dish that perfectly balances crispy textures with a tangy burst of fresh tomatoes. That’s the essence of Vietnamese fried tofu with tomato sauce, a beloved comfort food that brings simple ingredients to life. This dish, known locally as Đậu Sốt Cà Chua, is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, celebrated for its delightful blend of flavors and textures.

Ingredients

Get ready to bring the flavors of Vietnam into your kitchen with this simple yet delicious Đậu Sốt Cà Chua recipe. Below are the carefully selected components split into three categories to ensure each part of your dish is bursting with flavor.

For the Tofu

  • 14 oz firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Oil for frying, preferably vegetable or canola

For the Tomato Sauce

  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Fresh cilantro or Thai basil for flavoring
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Chopped cilantro or basil
  • Red pepper flakes (optional for a spicy kick)
  • Lime wedges for serving

Follow these components step by step to create a dish that’s not just a feast for the taste buds but also a spectacle for the eyes.

Equipment Needed

To successfully craft the delicious Đậu Sốt Cà Chua, you’ll need a few key kitchen tools that will help ensure the tofu is fried to a perfect crisp and the tomato sauce bubbles to tangy perfection. Here’s what you should gather before getting started:

  • Large Skillet or Frying Pan: Essential for frying the tofu. A non-stick skillet or a well-seasoned cast iron pan is ideal to prevent sticking and achieve an even, golden crust on your tofu.
  • Saucepan: Used for simmering the tomatoes and other ingredients to create a flavorful sauce.
  • Knife and Cutting Board: Needed for slicing the tofu, dicing the tomatoes, and chopping the garlic and herbs.
  • Mixing Bowls: Useful for tossing the tofu in cornstarch and mixing the sauce ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure all your ingredients accurately, ensuring the flavors are balanced.
  • Spatula or Tongs: For flipping the tofu during frying and stirring the sauce.
  • Plate Lined with Paper Towels: To drain excess oil from the fried tofu.
  • Serving Dish: To present your delicious creation.

With these tools at hand, you’ll be well-equipped to bring this Vietnamese favorite into your very own kitchen. Proceed to the recipe steps with confidence, knowing you have everything you need to make a scrumptious meal.

Preparation

With all your essential tools at hand, you’re now ready to dive into the actual preparation of the Đậu Sốt Cà Chua. Here’s how to expertly press the tofu and prepare the other ingredients for this delightful dish.

Pressing the Tofu

  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and drain any excess liquid.
  2. Wrap the tofu block in several layers of paper towels to soak up moisture. For best results, you can use a clean kitchen towel as an alternative to paper towels.
  3. Place the wrapped tofu on a flat surface like your cutting board. Set another flat board or a heavy skillet on top of the tofu to weigh it down.
  4. Allow the tofu to be pressed under the weight for at least 20 to 30 minutes. This step is crucial as it removes extra moisture, ensuring your tofu will achieve that desirable crispy texture once fried.
  1. While the tofu is being pressed, start prepping your tomatoes and garlic.
  2. Wash the tomatoes thoroughly under cold running water. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Slice the tomatoes into wedges or small cubes, depending on your preference for the texture in the final dish.
  4. Peel the garlic cloves and finely chop them. The finer you chop the garlic, the more flavorful your sauce will be, as it allows more surface area to caramelize and meld into the sauce.
  5. Set these aside on separate plates to make the cooking process seamless and organized.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your tofu is well-pressed and your tomatoes and garlic are prepped, let’s dive into the cooking process to bring together this delightful Vietnamese dish.

Frying the Tofu

Start by heating about three tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add the tofu cubes. Fry them for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until all sides are golden brown and crispy. It’s crucial to turn the tofu gently to ensure even cooking and to prevent it from breaking. Once crispy and browned, remove the tofu from the skillet and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

Cooking the Tomato Sauce

In the same skillet you used for the tofu, add a bit more oil if needed, and sauté the chopped garlic for about one to two minutes—just until it starts to turn golden and you can smell its aromatic fragrance. Now, add the sliced tomatoes and a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity. Cook the tomatoes down until they are soft and begin to form a chunky sauce, which will take about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Once the tomatoes have broken down, reintroduce the fried tofu pieces to the skillet. Toss gently in the tomato sauce to ensure they are well-coated. Let simmer together for an additional 3-5 minutes, allowing the tofu to soak up some of the flavors from the sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot garnished with chopped green onions or cilantro if desired.

Assembly

Now that your tofu is crispy and your tomato sauce is bursting with flavor, it’s time to bring everything together in a delicious harmony.

Combining Tofu and Sauce

Transfer the fried tofu back to your pan over medium heat. Pour the hot tomato sauce over the tofu, ensuring each piece is nicely coated. Stir gently to combine the tofu and sauce without breaking the tofu pieces. Allow this mixture to simmer gently for about 5 minutes. This step is crucial as it helps the tofu to absorb the rich flavors of the sauce, enhancing the overall taste of your dish.

Adding Garnishes

Once the tofu has absorbed the flavors and the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from heat. Sprinkle freshly chopped green onions or cilantro over the top for a fresh, vibrant finish. If you like a bit of extra spice, a few slices of red chili can also be added at this stage. Serve immediately while hot to enjoy the full spectrum of flavors and textures this dish offers.

Serving Suggestions

When it comes to enjoying your Đậu Sốt Cà Chua, presentation and accompaniments can make all the difference in enhancing this delightful dish. Here are some serving suggestions to make your meal even more enjoyable:

Serve with Rice

The most traditional way to serve Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Tomato Sauce is alongside a bowl of steaming white rice. The rice not only complements the flavors but also acts as a perfect base to soak up the rich tomato sauce.

Pair with Noodles

For a heartier meal, consider serving the tofu over a bed of rice noodles. This adds a wonderful texture contrast and turns your dish into a satisfying main course. Simply cook the noodles according to the package instructions, and lay them as a bed before topping with the tofu and sauce.

Add Vegetables

Enhance your meal’s nutritional value by serving it with a side of steamed or sautéed vegetables. Broccoli, bok choy, or a mix of bell peppers work wonderfully and add a splash of color to your plate.

Include Herbs for Freshness

A sprinkle of fresh herbs such as chopped cilantro, mint, or basil can elevate this dish with a burst of freshness. These herbs complement the tangy tomato sauce beautifully and bring a vibrant look to your serving.

Consider a Crunchy Topping

Add some crunch by sprinkling crushed peanuts or fried shallots over the top of the dish just before serving. This not only adds texture but also introduces an extra layer of flavor that pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the tofu.

By following these serving suggestions, you can turn the simple dish of Đậu Sốt Cà Chua into a festive and visually appealing meal that’s sure to impress.

Conclusion

Ready to dive into the vibrant flavors of Đậu Sốt Cà Chua? You’re all set to impress with this simple yet savory dish. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or looking to wow guests your efforts will surely pay off with each delicious bite. Don’t forget to personalize it with your favorite toppings and sides. Enjoy the tastes of Vietnam right from your kitchen and let this dish be a regular in your culinary repertoire. Happy cooking!

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