Vietnamese Tofu Recipes

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Bottle Gourd Recipe with Tofu Recipe

Bottle Gourd Recipe with Tofu

01.24.11 by Jackie

Trái bàu translates to calabash, bottle gourd, long melon or opo squash. It's a very common vegetable used in Vietnamese cuisine. The shape is cylindrical and the color is light green. It's best harvested while still young. It can be boiled, stir-fried or added to soups. The texture is very similar to zucchini; the flesh is very soft, spongy and tastes mildly sweet.

Whenever I look at calabash, it makes me think of a very nice lady named Trần and her lovely family. Last year, I got to meet Trần through PhamFatale.com. She read my article about the dragon fruit that I bought at the market and she kindly offered to give me dragon fruit trees her mother grows as a hobby. Trần's mom has magical hands and is a very talented gardener. While visiting their garden in San Jose, I noticed beautiful, giant calabash growing on vines hung over a trellis. I took a few home with me and they were the some of the best I’ve ever had. I’m going to try and to grow some of my own this year, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

For this particular version I made a quick vegetable stir-fry, using miso and honey. In honor of the upcoming Asian New Year, I'm determined to eat vegetarian for a week and at the same time, shed a few pounds.  This recipe was a great way to kick off my challenge.


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Green Jackfruit with Tofu Recipe

Green Jackfruit with Tofu

03.20.10 by Jackie

Mít & tàu hũ kho tương is a fairly common vegetarian dish in the Buddhist community. Mít ("jackfruit" in Vietnamese) is picked when it's still green. First, the young fruit is boiled to soften it. Then it's braised in soy sauce and used as a vegetable to accompany tofu. Like tofu, unseasoned green jackfruit is fairly bland but acts as a sponge and absorbs the flavors of the sauce.

The cooking procedure helps to give the jackfruit a soft texture that resembles the pork fat in thịt kho (braised meat), and the stringy texture of the jackfruit simulates the stringy texture of the meat. The result is quite pleasant and surprising. Next time you're in an Asian market, look for fresh young jackfruit; it's delicious!


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Glass Noodles with Vegetable Stir Fry (Jap Chae) Recipe

This glass noodle dish (also known as cellophane noodles, dam myun in Korean and harusame in Japanese) is made from sweet potato starch. The dish is very similar to chow mein, but aesthetically the noodles look translucent once they're boiled and their texture is chewier.

I prepared the noodles with king mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, pan-fried tofu, baby spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. The dish is relatively easy and quick to make if you have all the veggies prepped in advance.


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Braised Tofu with Hoisin Sauce Recipe

Braised Tofu with Hoisin Sauce

01.27.10 by Jackie

Braising is one of the best cooking methods to increase the flavor of tofu. In this particular dish, I braised the tofu in a hoisin sauce-based mixture for its caramel color and subtle sweetness. To this, I added several vegetables such as wood ear mushrooms, button mushrooms, carrots and Japanese eggplants.

If you've been following my culinary adventures, you know I married a vegetarian. I'm not saying it as though it's a flaw, but I have to admit that when we first got married, I was a little nervous about what I was going to feed my sweetie. I really didn't have any familiarity with vegetarian cuisine. I love Lulu so much that I was determined to learn how to prepare flavorful vegetarian meals. Since then, I've tried boiling tofu, pan-searing it, grilling it, braising it and deep-frying it. I think I've gone through every possibility, but If you have any other methods you like for cooking tofu, please drop me a message. 

Braised Tofu in Hoisin Sauce Recipe with Picture


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Lemongrass Tofu Recipe

Lemongrass Tofu

02.20.09 by Jackie

Lemongrass is very common in Vietnamese cuisine. It is considered as a mild diuretic, tonic and stimulant. It's very fibrous so lemongrass needs to be finely chopped.

This particular recipe combines lemongrass with fried tofu.

Lemongrass is quite expensive in stores and it sold by bulk of 5 stalks. It's a perennial. I asked my husband about it and he started to grow 4 "bushes" last year and we keep getting some, which is very convenient.


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