Monday, March 10, 2008

Hanoi Tomato Tofu Soup

Me and hubby just came back from Hanoi, Vietnam last week for a vacation. We like to travel around especially to those developing countries as we can see the different sides of the countries.

As usual, eating is the most important agenda in our traveling schedule. We always like to try the local delicacies of the country as we like to understand more about the local people food and eating cultures. During the first 2 days we found a lot of street stalls opened after the working hours in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. The street stalls are mostly operated by the local woman with few tiny plastic tables and tiny plastic stools in front of the shop lot . Foods sold are normally the rice noodle (pho) soup with variety of beef, pork or chicken, Hanoi salads made from green papaya, carrot and etc, grilled cuttle fish, fruits and etc. We thought that those street stall food maybe the most authentic one but we were bit disappointed as the food was just tasted like MSG . Since then we started to search for restaurants based on the Lonely Planet guide book.

We went to 'Little Hanoi' restaurant on one of the days and ordered a tomato tofu soup. We really like it and found the taste is quite similar with the Chinese style tomatoes and eggs soup.
I would like to share the recipe so that you can make this simple, delicious and nutritious soup.

Tomato Tofu Soup Recipe:

  • 2 half riped medium size tomatoes (hard and bit green and red in colour)
  • 2 fully riped medium size tomatoes (soft and very red in colour)
  • 1 to 2 blocks Chinese tofus
  • 1 eggs
  • 8 stalks of green onions, only use the bulb part (cut into 3 cm each)
  • Some chicken fillet cut into slices (optional)
  • Some sesame oil
  • Some salt
  • Some fish sauce/soy sauce
How to make the soup? (3 to 4 persons portion)
  1. Boil water using a medium clay pot.
  2. Cut tomatoes into 8 slices each and dump it into the clay pot.
  3. Cut the tofus into cubes (about 2cmx2cmx2cm) and deep fried the tofu till it turn to golden colour. Wipe off excessive oil on the tofus surface, put it aside and to use later.
  4. Boil the soup for about 10 minutes till the soup turned red.
  5. Put the deep fried tofus and chicken fillet (optional) into the soup and let it boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Break an egg into the soup and stir it immediately to create egg flower* ('dan hua' in Chinese).
  7. Add some sesame oil, salt, fish/soy sauce and the green onion bulb into the soup.
  8. Boil for a while and off the fire.
  9. Pour into a Chinese soup bowl and serve.
* egg flower is translated literally from Chinese, it means that the egg has been stirred in the hot liquid immediately after it was poured in and the results is it looks like many flower petals in the liquid.

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