Vietnamese Fried Tofu w/ Tomato Sauce – Đậu Sốt Cà Chua

Here’s a dish I enjoyed a lot growing up. It’s a very simple fried tofu and tomato dish (dậu sốt cà chua) that is one of my fav comfort foods! A version I had occasionally was tofu filled with ground pork too.

bowl of tofu in tomato sauce

As a kid I ate the meatless version on this page 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.

ca chua yum

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.




Cut each tomato into 4 or 8 even pieces each. I’d cut them all into 4ths next time.

Add everything into the pot: tofu, tomatoes, salt, sugar, tomato paste, water, and fish sauce (optional).

Cover with a lid, bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to 30% heat until the tomatoes are cooked. About 10 minutes total.

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. See my recipe for pork-stuffed tofu!

dau sot ca chua,fried tofu in tomato sauce

Top with red chili flakes or freshly ground pepper. Serve with rice.

bowl of tofu in tomato sauce

Vietnamese Tofu with Tomato Sauce (Dau Sot Ca Chua)

5 from 3 votes
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Author: Hungry Huy
Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 lb. 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce optional, but..not really!
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 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


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11 thoughts on “Vietnamese Fried Tofu w/ Tomato Sauce – Đậu Sốt Cà Chua

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It fit the bill with the tofu and tons of garden tomatoes on hand. I made it last night and it was delicious comfort food. I did add the green onions as a garnish 😉

  2. 5 stars
    One my favorite dishes while working in Điện Biên Phủ. SO simple so tasty like most Vietnamese food. Thanks for recipe!!!

  3. I found out about this dish when my Vietnamese roommate made this and stank up the whole house. I was thinking wth smells so bad and tastes so GOOD? Anyway, thanks for sharing this recipe now I can make this a decade later. Even my toddler loves it 🙂

    1. Stinky delicious is its own world of food isn’t it? Glad you didn’t shy away from your roommates creation :). Thanks for sharing!

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