Dau Hu Nhoi Cha Tom voi Sot Chao Ot (Vietnamese Tofu Stuffed with Shrimp Paste with Fermented Bean Curd Chili Sauce)
Fried tofu or make your own using my recipe for Dau Hu Chien (Vietnamese Fried Tofu)
For shrimp paste, you'll need:
1 lbs shrimp, peeled, deveined
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt, and adjust to taste
2 tsp sugar, and adjust to taste
a few dashes of fish sauce
For sot chao ot (Vietnamese fermented bean curd and chili sauce), you'll need:
3 cubes chao (fermented bean curd)
1 tblsp sambal oelek or any chili sauce of your choice, or less depending on your spicy tolerance
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
Peel and devein the shrimp. Place shrimp in a colander and sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt, mix thoroughly and allow to drain.
In a food processor, grind shrimp with garlic, 2 tsp sugar, and a few dashes of fish sauce, until a smooth paste is formed. You may need to add a little bit of cold water for the shrimp paste to smooth out and become "fluffy." Take a small chunk of the shrimp paste and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to cook. Taste and adjust salt and sugar if necessary.
You can stuff the tofu in two ways. If you want the stuffed tofu to look like the top photo. Poke a hole in the middle, take a tblsp of the shrimp paste and spread it on top. Set aside.
Or you can slice the tofu in half, making sure not to slice all the way so that the tofu is still intact on one side like what you see in the photo above. Stuff with about a tblsp of shrimp paste. Set aside.
If there's any shrimp paste left over, you can freeze it for another batch, stuff wontons, or simply form 2-inch patties with them and cook the rest of this recipe. Lay the shrimp paste-stuffed tofu in a steamer tray and steam for about 10 to 15 minutes until the shrimp is pink.
Meanwhile, you can prepare the sot chao ot (Vietnamese fermented bean curd and chili sauce). In a small pan on medium-low heat, mash 3 cubes of bean curd, 1 tblsp of sambal oelek, 1/2 tsp of fish sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Mix thoroughly. Adjust seasonings accordingly. Turn the heat down to low and let simmer until sauce thickens.
By this time, the steamed shrimp should be cooked. Drizzle a bit of oil into a saucepan on medium heat. Pan-fry both sides of shrimp paste-tofu pieces until golden.
Arrange on a plate and drizzle sot chao ot on top. Serve with rice.
My other tofu recipes:
Chinese Hot and Sour Soup
Dau Hu Chien (Vietnamese Fried Tofu)
Dubu Chorim (Korean Fried Tofu with Soy Sauce)
Ma Po Tofu (Chinese Pockmarked Old Lady's Tofu)
Soon Dubu Kimchi Chigae (Korean Soft Tofu and Kimchee Stew)
Taiwanese Popcorn Tofu
Thit Heo Kho Voi Dau Hu (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Tofu)
Yong Tau Foo (Chinese Stuffed Tofu)
1 year ago today, frozen yogurt with fresh fruit toppings at Pinkberry in Los Angeles (Koreatown).