• We can't think of a better use for tomatoes than in this crisp and spicy tofu dish. (Luke Nguyen)Source: Luke Nguyen

"Tofu is one of my favourite ingredients", says Luke. "Fried until golden and puffed and paired with this deeply flavoured sweet and sour sauce it is simply delicious." This dish is designed to served as part of a banquet or shared meal.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (185 votes)


  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) silken tofu, drained and cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced red Asian shallots
  • 1 bird's eye chilli, finely sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), cut into 5 cm (2 inch) lengths
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Pour the oil into a wok and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. 

Add the tofu, cooking it in two batches to ensure the oil stays hot, and deep-fry until crisp. Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towel to drain.

Transfer the deep-frying oil into a heatproof deep bowl, leaving about 1 tbsp of oil in the wok.

Add the garlic, Asian shallots and chilli to the wok, and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add the tomato, salt, sugar and fish sauce. Stir and allow the tomato to break down.

Add 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water to the wok, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the crisp tofu, spring onions and black pepper, folding it all together, and simmer for no longer than 1 minute as you want to keep the crisp texture of the tofu.

Garnish with coriander.