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Friday, April 24, 2020

Đậu sốt cà chua (Fried Tofu & Tomato) | A Recipe from Queenie Quynh Nguyen

 This spring, Interfaith Philadelphia is sharing stories and recipes from across the region. Today's vegetarian recipe comes from Queenie Quynh Nguyen. Do you have a recipe or a story you'd like to share? Email Liz Royer at

Here’s a dish I enjoyed a lot growing up. It’s a very simple fried tofu and tomato dish (đậu sốt cà chua) that is one of my favorite comfort foods! 

Coming from a Vietnamese Buddhist family, my mom and I usually cook vegetarian dishes together on the new moon and full moon each month. We offer these dishes first to the Buddha and our ancestors, who reside on the altar. This fried tofu and tomato dish is always our significant spiritual dish, and it is a good source of protein for a vegetarian diet. 

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu (or fried tofu if you have access to it)
  • Oil for frying (unless you have fried tofu)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil 
  • 1 shallot, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 heaping tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
  • 3 fresh tomatoes (cut into 6-8 even pieces each tomato) 
  • 1 tbsp Maggi seasoning (tamari is fine)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onion for garnish
  1. Cut tofu into your desired shapes. I chose triangles, which yielded about 16 pieces of tofu. You want them to be about ¾ inch thick (or ~2 cm) so that when you fry them, there’s still some tender tofu to bite into.
  2. Heat a pot of oil. Pat each slice of tofu as dry as you can before slipping them into the oil. Fry until a nice, uniform, golden crust is formed and let drain on some paper towel. Once all tofu is fried, set aside.
  3. In a pot, cook diced shallot with oil over medium heat until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add tomatoes to the pot and add maggi seasoning and sugar. Lower heat to a steady simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down a bit and the excess water has evaporated. You’ll have some of the tomato juices, but you don’t want it to be soupy.
  5. Depending on how you like your tofu, you can pour this finished sauce over your fried tofu OR you can add the tofu to the pot, and cook the tofu in it to absorb some of the tomato flavour. Both are delicious; it just depends on your preference! 
We usually add a half cup of water, bring it all to boil, and simmer the tofu in the sauce for 5 – 7 minutes, since we like the taste of the sauce deep inside the tofu. 
  1. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with slivered green onions!
** Ingredients and Instructions are from with my personal notes and some adjustments.

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