14 September 2011

Dau hu nhoi thit (stuffed tofu in tomato sauce)

My family LOVES tofu and we often eat them crispy fried with some Maggi sauce. Just straight out of the pan, piping hot, dipped in Maggi and straight in our mouths. It is delicious! And so easy. One time this was all we eat for dinner and we were very happy about it. It’s quite filling so we didn’t have room for more food even if we wanted.

This dish is one of my boehoe’s favorite. He loves everything about it, maybe you do to after you made it. I always make it one day ahead so the tofu can suck in all those nice flavors.

I used:
- 2 big fresh tofu (not the silken tofu)
- onions
- garlic (fresh and powder)
- minced meat (half pork, half beef)
- dried wood ear mushrooms
- dried glass noodles
- tomatoes
- tomato paste
- bouillon cube
- sesame oil
- oyster sauce
- salt, pepper, sugar, Maggi sauce
I cut the tofu in about 1,5 cm and fried them till they were golden. Well actually my boehoe fried them. You can either use them right away or the next day. I prefer to use them the next day because the tofu is firmer then.
With a little knife I carefully made an incision, just enough to have room for the meat. I usually go all the way through till I hit the other side, but not slice it through.
Now it looks like a little tofu bag. I continued slicing all the fried tofu.
I just love wood ear mushrooms. They don’t particularly taste like anything and are the ugliest mushrooms I’ve ever seen, but I grew up with them. I love the little crunch it gives. I always soak them in hot water till they are soft. This takes a couple of minutes.
I chopped one big onion, a couple of clove of garlic and the wood ear mushrooms. Then I added the minced meat and the glass noodles which I soaked in warm water for a bit and cut them smaller with a scissor.  

Then I sprinkled some salt, lots of fresh ground pepper, garlic powder, some dashes of sesame oil and oyster sauce.
I dug in there to make sure everything was evenly mixed. I use this mixture for everything. It’s great in some puff pastry, it’s awesome stuffing for bitter melon and goes great with stuffed Chinese cabbage (will be next on the to make list).
While my hands were dirty I opened the tofu pouches and stuffed them with as much meat as I could. I just had to make sure the tofu holds up and not split.
In a non stick pan I added a bit of oil and started with browning the meat top on first. After the meat is nice and seared I flipped them on the tofu side. Then on the other side and they were done. Well almost done.
I remember the first time I made this, my boehoe asked if he could eat it and I was like what? It needs to be cooked in a tomato sauce first. That was quite strange for him as him mom always stops here. I guess you could’ve stop here, but then you’ll have to make sure the meat inside the tofu cooks proper. As I was still cooking them I only needed the meat to brown.
For my tomato sauce I used a mixture of fresh tomatoes (lots of them) and one little can of tomato paste, just to intensify the tomato flavor. I started with browning some onion and garlic. Then I added the tomatoes and one bouillon cube.
There is my tomato paste!
After the paste was mixed I added 3 cups of water, some salt, pepper, sugar and Maggi sauce. I like the flavor the Maggi sauce gives to the tomato mixture.

Then it was time for the stuffed tofu to take a dive…in this divine sauce.
The next day they simmered for another 30 minutes and they were ready. I normally top them with some spring onion and cilantro, but I didn’t have any spring onions left.
Today we ate it with some stir fried water spinach and plain white rice. The tofu soaked up all that nice sauce. We all started with 2 stuffed tofu, but that wasn’t enough.
My boehoe went back to snack on some more stuffed tofu, no rice, no veggies…can you blame him?

There’s still plenty for tomorrow's meal. So guess what’s on the menu then…one very happy boehoe!


  1. Oh yummy! This stuffed tofu sounds really good - I love the filling and the sauce - screams comfort food!

  2. Lilly, I'm a big fan of stuffing things in tofu (but mine is Aburaage, which is flat tofu skin) too! Yours look delicious - I've never made tofu dish with tomato sauce when I come to think of it! Looks so delicious!!

  3. You've just REALLY made me want to get into tofu. That looks so good!

  4. I've eaten stuffed tofu but with no sauce. They look better with the sauce. My children are into tofu these days, don't know why. Must cook this.

  5. This sounds AMAZING! I think even my picky husband would eat tofu this way. Can't wait to try it!

  6. I've never seen tofu done like this...I think I'd quite like it!

  7. Hey Lilly, this is one of my faves! Love stuffed tofu and when I was growing up in Malaysia, yong tau foo was everywhere until we lived in Sydney. But I have found an even better way to prepare it at home. I hope you like this recipe.

    I'm not sure if ready made fish paste is easy to find where you are because there is plentiful here in Sydney :)


  8. That is SO cool! I've never seen anything like it!

  9. I've never had stuffed tofu. It looks so good!

  10. I’m glad you all liked it. It takes some time to make it but it’s all worth it in the end when you get to bite into that juicy stuffed tofu. And the longer you let it sit in the sauce the more tasty it gets.

  11. What an interesting way to serve tofu, never seen it before, definitely goes on the to do list :)

  12. Oooh this looks amazing! I love stuffed things- its like a surprise in the middle!

  13. Eating this stuffed tofu is like finding a treasure inside! What a brilliant idea to soak the tofu in tomato sauce overnight so they taste even better the next day. Your mother taught you well, Lilly!

  14. You know, I'm not a tofu person, but this dish looks absolutely delicious. I love mushrooms and if the tofu picks up any of that flavor, I'd be hooked.


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