Tofu is one of our main proteins in everyday cooking. It appears frequently and my family always have many different recipes of cooking tofu. Some people are turn off because of the texture and the bland taste of it, but when it's paired with a good recipe the tofu will become a perfect canvas. It absorbs flavors from spices and sauces, so look for recipes that features assertive ingredients.
Take this recipe; it's a very simple one but it has all the components that make a great dish. Sweet, salty, and a bit sour, and the tofu soaks up all these wonderful combo flavors. I paired this with one or two other dishes, maybe a vegetable and another protein. Along with steamed rice, I can make dinner quickly.
If you don't want to fry your own tofu, there's fried tofu available in most Asian markets. I do buy those because I don't always have the time to fry it.
Deep-Fried Tofu Simmered with Tomatoes
Makes 4 to 6 servings as part of a multicourse family-style meal
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12-ounce package fried tofu (try to find a package with eighteen 1-by 2-inch rectangular pieces)
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 medium) tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoon sugar
2 green onions, green parts only, chopped
Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with the oil. Arrange the tofu pieces side-by-side in a single layer. Wedge the tomatoes in wherever you can around the tofu. If you have to pile the tomatoes on top of the tofu to form a second layer, that's okay.
In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce and sugar together. Pour over the tofu and tomatoes in the skillet. Scatter the green onions over the top. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the tomatoes soften and their juices are released, 10 to 15 minutes. The skins will also start to peel away from the flesh. Serve hot with freshly steamed rice.
Source: The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook by Patricia Tanumihardja