At a recent cooking class the instructor mentioned picking five recipes to perfect. The idea being these are your go to weeknight meals. My first attempt was tofu tomato. At the time of this writing we are in the dog days of summer. The tomatoes at the farmers market are nearing the middle of their peak season. My family loves this fresh vegan version of the Vietnamese dish anytime of year though.

Tofu Tomato:

  • 2 lb fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with an equal amount of water
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Dice the tomatoes and onions. I like a large dice for this recipe. Cut the tofu into large rectangles. Also, slice the green onions and chop the cilantro. Heat the oil in a deep saute pan or wok on medium to medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the tofu. Cook the tofu until it is golden brown, turning if needed. Evacuate the tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel. Remove all the oil but one tablespoon from the pan. I pour the oil into a heat prof container such as a pyrex measuring cup. Don’t throw it out it can be reused. Return the pan to the stove. Add the onion and saute for three to five minutes, just until the onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and tofu to the pan. Now add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes and corn starch slurry. Stir to combine all the ingredients well. Leave the pan on the heat string occasionally until the sauce thickens. Garnish with green onions and cilantro. Serve over rice.