It seems that I was born with an interest in having fried tofu with tomato, yet only realized this not long ago.
Last week, as usual I watched Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam Season 2 on SBS. A side note, Luke Nguyen’s latest released cookbook "The Songs of Sapa" was crowned amongst one of the winners of 2010 Australian Food Media Awards. In the minute I finished watching the show, that he cooked the Crisp tofu in tomato-pepper sauce on a hill top in Vietnam, my urge inside to try his dish was immediately confirmed by my daughter’s suggestion, “Would you cook this, mum? It looks tasty.” This plain, simple question uttered from a meat lover said it all. Without a second thought, I jumped on the bandwagon. The two main ingredients, tofu and tomato are always sitting in my fridge, even when the nearby supermarkets were running short of food supplies during the floods hit our state. Everything is ready and this dish is simple and easy to prepare. The end result was satisfied, fresh with lots of flavour. The crisp tofu was so good in the balanced savoury, sour and sweet sauce.
Recipe from Crisp tofu cooked in tomato-pepper sauce by Luke Nguyen (Printable recipe)
- 200ml (7 fl oz) vegetable oil
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) silken tofu, drained and cut into 3cm (11/4 inch) cubes
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced red Asian shallots
- 1 birdseye chilli, finely sliced
- 4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5cm (2 inch) lengths
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish (I didn't use.)
- Pour the oil into a wok and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds.
- Add the tofu, cooking it in two batches to ensure the oil stays hot, and deep-fry until crisp. Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and transfer to kitchen paper to drain.
- Transfer the deep-frying oil into a deep bowl, leaving about 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok.
- Add the garlic, Asian shallots and chilli to the wok, and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and fish sauce. Stir and allow the tomatoes to break down.
- Add 100ml (31/2 fl oz) water to the wok, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the crisp tofu, spring onions and black pepper, folding it all together, and simmer for no longer than 1 minute as you want to keep the crisp texture of the tofu.
- Garnish with coriander.