Here’s a dish I enjoyed a lot growing up. It’s a very simple Dau Sot Ca Chua recipe that is my comfort food.
As a kid I ate this a lot, but never even considered the work my parents or grandma would put into making this. It would kind of just appear during dinner time (I appreciate it much more now!).
Everyone in the family was lucky to have good food prepared for them pretty much every day. The home I was raised in was where all the family members came together for lunch and dinner.
A few years after my uncle moved out he visited asking my grandma and asked for this recipe he missed. Even an incredibly simple dishes such as Dau Sot Ca remains out of reach until you can find one of those kitchen magicians (mom? grandma?) for tips.
Cut the tofu into smaller pieces and dry on paper towels or in a basket over the sink for 20-30 minutes. We want to remove the excess moisture to avoid oil splatter during frying.
I fried these in vegetable oil, keeping the temperature at 300F (148C) using my Polder Thermometer. Let the temperature hit 300F before adding. It should take 2-4 minutes until they brown. Like anyone else in a hot tub, these guys like to bunch together and stick, so move them around a little after adding to the pot.
For this Dau Sot Ca Chua recipe, you can add a little more tomato paste for more color, or more water if you like it a bit more… saucy. As always, add extra salt or fish sauce to fit your taste. You can also stuff the tofu with meat before adding to the pot. That can wait for a future post.
Top with red chili flakes or freshly ground pepper. Serve with rice.
- 1lb. (0.45kg) firm tofu (okay, you can buy pre-fried tofu, but unless you live near a market or factory that pumps those things out daily, I would avoid pre-packaged fried tofu)
- 5 medium, ripe, Roma tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce (optional, but..not really!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ cup water
- oil for deep frying
- Cut, dry, and fry the tofu (if you buy pre-fried tofu, you can save a lot of time)
- Cut the tomatoes, and add everything into one pot
- Bring to a boil, then simmer at 30% heat for 10 minutes