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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice)

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 1

Whenever lil' sis heads back to school, I always send her off with some homemade food - in a container to eat that evening and in plastic bags to put into the freezer for later.

One of her favorite dishes is Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef) with Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice).

Can you tell that I made the version in the top photo with brown rice? The tomato paste flavor and color is pretty strong so you can eat healthier while still enjoying the same great taste of red rice. Of course, you can use regular white jasmine rice too.

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice)

For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:
3 cups cooked brown or white rice
1 6-oz can tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)

Optional: Scrambled Egg Omelet

Make sure the rice you're using is either day-old or cook regular rice with about 1/2 cup less water. That's because the tomato paste will make it gummy if you use freshly cooked rice.

I like the eggy bits of yellow color that peak through the red of the tomato paste in the rice, so if you do also, make my Scrambled Egg Omelet and set aside.

As you can see, I've got the eggs, rice, tomato paste, and minced garlic ready. Don't be a featherbrain like I was once and buy tomato sauce. Umm, yeah, it won't turn out the same. :P

In a wok or saute pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and add the minced garlic. Quickly stir so the garlic doesn't burn.

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 2

Add in the rice and stir again.

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 3

Starting with half the can of tomato paste, stir it in until evenly mixed. If you don't like a strong tomato paste flavor, stop right now. If you do like tomatoes and want the rice really red, add in the whole can. Add about 2 tsp of fish sauce and mix thoroughly.

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 4

Then add the scrambled egg omelet back in and break it up so the eggs are evenly mixed with the rice like so. Taste. Adjust if necessary.

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 5

Serve with Ga Ro Ti (Vietnamese Roasted Chicken).

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 6

Or Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef).

Com Do Ca Chua (Vietnamese Tomato Paste Red Rice) 7

And a side of Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions).


1 year ago today, how to make broth for Canh (Vietnamese Soups).
2 years ago today, Ga Nuong Xa (Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Lemongrass).


  1. Oh, man, does that look good! I love a tomatoey rice. Remember the fried rice with hotdogs? Dad always added a healthy glug of ketchup for that red tomato flavor.

  2. That looks so good! I've added tomatoes to rice, but the paste would be so much richer.

  3. What a lovely rice dish! And, it doesn't look difficult to make, which makes me like it even better. I'm Italian and we put tomato in everything. Yet, I never thought to add it to rice.

  4. check this out http://www.tastebook.com/tastepages/884585-Robert

    (redinkdiary on Twitter)

  5. yay i've been waiting for this!

  6. This brings me back to weeknights when my mom needed a quick dinner. She would usually add peas to the rice though, and maybe some leftover chicken and then the rice was a whole meal. Food and website look great!

  7. I had this once at a Vietnamese restaurant and loved it. I have to try this!

  8. wow. this is COMFORT FOOD.

    rice, fried eggs, a bit of tomato. jesus.

    i like to do a simmered tomato with chunks of ginger and fish sauce. then i like to poach an egg directly on top.

  9. I love tomato rice but always assumed it was made with ketchup. Now I know! Thanks!

  10. Nikki,
    Oh man! That ketchup fried rice was an old, old recipe. So nice you remembered it. We go way back then! ;)

    Tomato products vary so much in taste. Tomato paste rice tastes quite different from ketchup fried rice.

    Do Italians have tomato risotto? Do you add tomatoes to that?

    Thanks for pointing it out. Yup, it's the same Robert who stole lots of my other recipes too. Tastebook sucks. Period.

    It only took a few months. ;)

    That's a fried rice recipe I can get behind!

    Pig Pig,
    It's quick and easy. No reason not to try!

    I like making sot ca chua for tofu or fish. Just like that.

    You can make it with ketchup too. Just different tastes.

  11. Red rice??? I found this through your shaking beef recipe...and I must say, this will be perfect for V-Day. :)

  12. JanFrederick,
    There's two red rice recipes. This one, and a Guamanian red rice that uses annatto seed powder for redness.

  13. Just made this and it turned out great. I'm so happy to have something else to add to my "lazy-ass list" of quick, yet flavorful recipes to crank out on days when I'm absolutely exhausted.

    Thank you.

  14. Hi WC, I am in love with you and your recipes. I have been "stalking" your blog for recipes and they are the best. I particularly liked your com do ca chua recipe. For the longest time, I thought they cook rice in the rice cooker substituting water for tomato sauce like how they would with chicken broth in rice. I had no idea that you can actually do it on the stove! You simplify and make everything so much easier that I enjoy cooking VNese food alot more. Thank you for your posts!

  15. Jayray Ray,
    Great! Thanks for letting me know.

    Monkey Noddles,
    You can do that too, but this way the flavor is slightly different. Thanks for your nice words!

  16. Holy crap! I've always loved this rice but never attempted it at home. I just followed your recipe and had it with some spicy pork mince and it was DELICIOUS.


    Thank you!


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