For westerners, stuffing typically consists of bread and veggies, but for Vietnamese, stuffing means ground pork, bean thread noodles, and woodear mushrooms. This classic pork stuffing is the basis for egg rolls, steamed pork egg custard (cha chung hap), canh kho qua (bittermellon soup), and ca chua nhoi thit (stuffed tomatoes). Even for Thanksgiving, our turkey was stuffed with this mixture. Here we present another classic Vietnamese home cooked dish, dau hu nhoi thit, braised stuffed tofu with tomatoes.
This stuffing is so easy to make and yet so versatile. Master this magical pork mixture and you’re opening your kitchen to many authentic Vietnamese home cooked dishes.
Dau Hu Nhoi Thit – Braised Stuffed Tofu
- 10 large fried firm tofu
- 4 ripe tomatoes, diced into small sections
- 4-6 green onions (dice one green onion set aside. With remainder, cut long segments of the green portion for tying tofu)
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 shallot minced
- cooking oil
- water or stock
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 minced shallots or small onion, diced
- 1/2 cup bean thread noodles, soaked in warm water about 10 min, drain and cut in 2-3 inch length
- 1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms, soaked in warm water about 10 min, drain and cut thinly
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, salt, shallots, wood ear mushrooms, bean thread noodles and mix well.
Slice the tofu lengthwise along the side, but do not cut all the way through. Gently split tofu open and stuff it, being careful not to over stuff and rip the tofu apart. Microwave the green stems for about 10 seconds or dip them in boiling water to wilt. Then wrap the tofu like presents with a double knot. If you can make a nice bow, go for it!!
In large saute pan or wok add about 1 tbs of cooking oil on medium high heat and when hot, add garlic and shallots. When fragrant and golden, add the tofu and tomatoes. Now add enough water or stock (chicken) to just cover the tofu. Close lid and braise on low heat for about 30 minutes or until the tomato sauce is reduced and thickened. Adjust seasoning of the tomato sauce with salt and pepper and finally add the chopped green onions. Remove from heat and serve with jasmine rice.