Stuffed Tofu in Tomato Sauce anyone? My family says "YES!" We love eating tofu. Not only is it healthy, it's also affordable. Tofu comes in many different forms. One of our favorite types is fried tofu puffs, which are tofu that has been deep-fried for some added texture and flavor. The inside is light and airy and has a sponge-like texture, great for soaking up sauce. Fried tofu puffs are available in a standard size, about 2" cubes, and a small version about half the size. We want the standard (larger) tofu puffs for this Stuffed Tofu recipe.
Vietnamese Stuffed Tofu (Đậu Hũ Dồn Thịt) is a very simple, homey, comfort food type of dish. You won’t it find on many Vietnamese restaurant menus. Fortunately, it's easy to make at home. The deep fried tofu puffs are stuffed with a pork/mushroom mixture. The filling side is then lightly browned and simmered in a tomato-based sauce. This dish is one that, similar to stews, tastes better the next day. Make it the day before and reheat it on the stove. Or double the recipe and enjoy Stuffed Tofu for a a few meals. You won't regret it!
How to Make Vietnamese Stuffed Tofu in Tomato Sauce
This Stuffed Tofu recipe can be broken up into 4 steps.
- Mix the Pork Filling
Combine the ground pork, sliced wood ear mushrooms, egg, cornstarch, soy sauce, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated and the filling becomes sticky. Set aside.
- Stuff the Tofu
Slice the tofu puffs in half. Since the inside is soft and spongy, it's easy to make some room for the pork filling. Use your fingers and pinch out about half of the tofu from the center and discard. You can remove more or less to your liking. If you remove more, you’ll have more pork filling inside, making it a heartier dish. Use a butter knife or spoon and spread some filling into the cavity you made in the tofu. Fill the tofu completely and push out any air pockets as you go along. Smooth out the surface.
- Brown the Pork Filling
In a deep skillet or pot, add a bit of oil and pan fry the tofu meat side down until the filling is golden brown. Remove and set aside. If you have any remaining pork filling, pan fry it in the same skillet until browned, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
- Simmer in Tomato Sauce
Add the garlic and stir fry until aromatic. Add the tomato sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the stuffed tofu along with chicken broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- 1 package fried tofu puffs, standard size (2" cubes)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 10 oz can tomato sauce or tomato soup
- 3 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 oz chicken broth
- ½ lb ground pork
- 4 pieces dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then sliced
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a bowl, thoroughly mix all the ingredients for pork filling until it becomes sticky. Set aside.
- Slice the tofu puffs in half. Pinch out about half of the tofu from the center to make room for the pork stuffing.
- Use a spoon or butter knife and fill the tofu puffs with the pork mixture. Press the filling into the tofu to push out air bubbles and to help it stick. Smooth out the surface of the filling. If you have extra pork filling, set it aside for later.
- Heat a deep skillet or pot over medium heat and add a bit of oil. Pan fry the stuffed tofu meat side down. No need to fry the other side. We only need to brown the filling side. Remove the tofu when the filling is browned and set aside.
- If you have any remaining pork mixture, add it to the skillet. Use your spatula to break it up into pieces and pan fry until browned.
- Add garlic and stir fry for 20-30 seconds, until the garlic becomes aromatic.
- Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Allow it to come to a simmer.
- Return the stuffed tofu and add chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, carefully stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the liquid level. If the sauce begins to reduce too much, add additional chicken broth or water.