Simple tofu recipes are always fantastic. ‘Dau sot ca chua’ is the literal translation of tofu and tomatoes in Vietnamese. It is a one-pan dish which I love making when I need a quick meal. These tofu cubes are fried, giving it a nice shade of golden yellow. When braised in the gravy, these fried tofu cubes soften and soak up the wonderful flavours of the tomatoes which are enhanced with the mildly caramelized fish sauce. This is definitely a comfort dish loved by both adults and children.
Which type of tofu to use?
It is best to use firm tofu instead of silken tofu because the tofu pieces are cooked twice - fried and then stewed for a short while. Using pre-fried tofu ('tau kwa') is not recommended as the consistency is too dense and they still need to be fried again once cut into cubes. This causes inconsistency of colour and texture.
Reduce oil splattering
Oil splatters during frying due to the content of water in the tofu. Thus, it is always better to remove excess water from the tofu by placing a piece of kitchen paper on it with some weight for 5-10 minutes. That will force out excess water from the tofu. After cutting it into cubes, lightly pat them dry using kitchen paper.
Vegan dau sot ca chua
Fish sauce plays an important role in this dish. However, this recipe can be easily made vegan to fit your diet. Simply substitute it with light soy sauce of your choice. However, that may change the colour of the dish, making it darker. Improve the colour and intensify the colours of tomatoes by adding half a tablespoon of tomato paste to the dish.