Vietnamese tamarind pineapple tofu tomato soup.
1. Soaked around 50g of a tamarind block for 8 hours in about ¾ cup warm water.
2. Press and cut tofu into bitesize chunks, rolled in corn flour and fried until golden (you could use non-fried tofu, but I like the fried version best).
3. Chopped and fried:
very small piece ginger
1 small clove garlic
1/2 a small onion
4. Strained tamarind through sieve to get a smooth pit, shell and seed-free paste
5. Added water – a couple of cups (can add more later to make more soupy)
6. Added the syrup from a pineapple can (to taste)
7. Added the tamarind a little at a time, to taste (I actually used around ¾ of the 50g dried block I re-hydrated. I froze the remaining paste). Mine was not all that sour. I added more syrup from pineapple to taste, and sugar is necessary. I then added a little Maggi sauce to taste (you could use soy sauce or salt to taste).
At this point, ensure you taste the soup and add salt, sweet and sour to your tastes. More soy/magi/salt for salty, sugar/pineapple juice for sweet and tamarind paste for sour. Add enough liquid (water/pineapple can juice) to cover vegetables – but keep checking that adding the water doesn’t dilute the taste.
8. Added a little daikon radish, sliced into bite sized pieces (optional). Cook for around 10 mins.
9. Added the pineapple chucks of 450g (juice + pineapple) can
10. Added quartered medium sized tomatoes (around 3-4 whole tomatoes). Cook for around 5 mins more. Taste to ensure the balance of sweet/salt/sour is still to your liking – as the vegetables can soak up or dilute it at this stage. You can also add
11. Added tofu
Serve with fresh jasmine rice on the side, and dip it in.