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Ðậu hủ sốt cà chua is a very simple dish. It is composed of tofu sautéed in juicy tomatoes, onion and seasonings. This dish can be easily converted to a vegetarian dish by simply replacing the fish sauce with soy sauce.

1 package firm tofu

1 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons soy saucetofuSaute3T.jpg

2 teaspoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning (optional)

¼ cup onion wedges

2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

¼ cup finely chopped green onion

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Soak the tofu in hot water for 15 to 30 minutes or heat in a microwave for 1 minute. Warm tofu is firmer and easier to fry. Drain thoroughly on several paper towels before frying. Draining the tofu reduces the splattering when frying. Cut the tofu into small rectangular pieces (1x1½x¼ inch thick).  Clean & drain the vegetables thoroughly.

Preheat the oil in a non-stick frying pan or wok at medium high heat. Warning:  The oil may splatter when hot. Place in as many tofu pieces as possible without stacking. Frying may need to be done in batches if the frying pan is too small. Fry the tofu until slightly golden. Transfer the fried tofu pieces to a plate. Use paper towels to soak the oil from the tofu. Pour the excess oil from the pan into a container for future use.

Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, optional mushroom seasoning, and ½ cup water in a small bowl. Preheat 1 teaspoon of oil in the same frying pan or wok for 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion wedges to the oil. Stir until golden brown at medium high heat. Add tomatoes. Stir for 2 minutes. Add the fried tofu and soy sauce mixture. Stir for 2 more minutes. Remove the frying pan from the heat. Top the tofu with the green onion, cilantro, and black pepper. Serve this dish with steamed rice.

Tips: For those who miss the taste of meat, optionally add ½ pound of marinated meat (ground or thinly sliced pork, beef or chicken - page 119 of A Vietnamese Kitchen Cookbook). Add the marinated meat to the fried onion. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes and continue to follow the rest of the recipe. 

Pre-frying the tofu is not necessary. However doing so prevents the tofu from falling apart for easier cooking. An alternate way to frying, you can also bake the tofu in the oven.