Casa Be Loverly Recipes: Salt & pepper tofu with braised tomato & braised eggplant

I know, I know, I know….I’m sharing a tofu recipe!  Please don’t click away, I promise this is yummy. I pinkie swear it’s yummy.

I like tofu though, really. I love this dish so much that we cook it almost more often than any other.  Bebito calls it, “Crunchy tofu fish” which I love and it’s the one way I can ensure he will eat tomatoes.

My Mr and I LOVE Vietnamese food and when we spied Luke Nguyen cook this super simple crisp tofu cooked in tomato-pepper sauce on the teev we made sure it was on our menu the next week.

We have adapted the recipe and also combine it with a braised eggplant that Amy recommended to me that is from here.

It may seem like a bit of faffing about but I cook the tomato and eggplant in the morning and the tofu is prepped quickly and fried off at the last minute…though I rather sacrilegiously I’m sure….have fried it in the afternoon and put it in the oven to get super crispy of an evening and that works really well too.

A note about the tofu though – you have to get silken, you have to make sure it’s well drained and dried off as well as you can and I’ve found cornflour by far the best at coating it. I personally like cooking in a small saucepan in small batches because the tofu cooks better that way too.

Tofu:
vegetable oil
500g silken tofu, drained and cut into 3cm cubes
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons salt
150grams cornflour

Mix the pepper, salt, 5 spice and cornflour. Heat oil – around 6cm deep – in a saucepan – drop a teeny bit of the flour mix in, if it’s hot enough it will sizzle nicely.  Dust the tofu in the flour mix and fry for a few minutes, until it’s all yummy and gold looking, then drain on some paper towel.

Tomatoes:

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon of paprika or minced chilli (whatever you prefer)
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
half teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 sprigs of coriander
we also add: a handful of trimmed green beans and sometimes some cubed zucchini
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or saucepan. Add the garlic, onion and chilli/paprika, stir frying until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and fish sauce plus the zucchini if adding.  Stir and allow tomatoes to break down.
Add 100ml of water to the mix, bringing to the boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. If adding the beans add them about 4 minutes from the end of the cooking time.
Add spring onions, pepper and coriander to serve.
Eggplant:
1 kg (about 3) eggplants
half cup vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
third cup light soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and then into thick wedges.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large saucepan, add eggplant and cook over high heat for 5 minutes until golden. 
Add garlic and ginger, reduce heat to medium and sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add remaining ingredients and a cup of water and bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes until delish and tender.

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2 thoughts on “Casa Be Loverly Recipes: Salt & pepper tofu with braised tomato & braised eggplant

  1. Rachel

    Yum that looks great! I love silken tofu! I do a Ma Po Tofu that is delicious and I keep meaning to get it on my blog but keep forgetting to photograph it. Your Dahl looked amazing too!

    Reply

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