Here’s a dish I enjoyed a lot growing up. It’s a very simple fried tofu and tomato dish (Dau Sot Ca Chua) that is one of my fav comfort foods!
As a kid I ate this a lot, but never even considered the work my parents or grandma would put into making this (I appreciate it much more now!).
The family was lucky to have delicious meals prepared for them every day of the week. The food was pretty important since it was something that made us all spend time together.
A few years after one of my uncles moved out, he came back asking grandma for this recipe–he missed it! Even a super simple dish like this remains out of reach until you know what goes into making it.
Let’s get to it!
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, or until tomatoes are cooked through and the liquid reaches desired concentration