Mock crab soup

Mock crab soup

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

On the first day of the lunar month, many Vietnamese keep to the Buddhist tradition of following a vegetarian diet to gain merit. Many classic Vietnamese dishes are prepared by using tofu or taro as a meat or fish substitute, and often they are formed to closely resemble the meat they are replacing.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
150g tofu
oil, for deep-frying
4 red asian shallots, sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/3 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 litre soy milk
3 tablespoons dam bong or rice vinegar
300g rice vermicelli
4 saw-tooth herb leaves, cut into strips
5 spring onions, sliced

Method

  1. Cut the tofu into 3 cm cubes. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok and deep-fry the tofu until crisp and golden.
  2. Fry the shallots in another 100 ml of oil until golden. Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towel. Set the oil aside.
  3. Heat a little oil in a saucepan. Add the tomato, sugar and salt and cook for 1 minute, or until the tomato has softened. Pour in the soy milk and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat until simmering. Stir in the dam bong or rice vinegar. When the soup begins to appear curdled, simmer for a further 1 minute.
  4. Meanwhile, soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 4–5 minutes. Gently stir to separate the noodles, then drain and refresh under cold water. Use kitchen scissors to cut the noodles into easy-to-manage lengths.
  5. Divide the noodles and herbs among six bowls and ladle over the soup. Top the soup with the fried tofu, spring onion and fried shallots and drizzle with the shallot oil.
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