Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vegan Tomato Tofu Soup (bun rieu chay)

Every time my family comes together on November, 11, my dad's memorial day, Bun rieu chay is one of the dishes that it's always requested from the family members. I am very honored to make this wonderful soup for them. However, a few years ago at the same time my dad passed away, we had to entertain many Buddhist monks coming to pray for my dad's departure, and I learned how to make this soup from my sister-in law, Lan Anh,. Since then, I have practiced and came up with my own recipe, which I believe is the best of all because the secret to a tasty soup is the vegetable stock, one of which is kombu stock, the Japanese stock to make miso soup,. This Kombu stock has added natural seafood flavor to the Bun rieu making this soup like real crab soup.

In my kitchen, I always have homemade stock like vegetable ,Kombu, chicken, or beef. Therefore, making this soup doesn't take much time at all. You can use the store-bought vegetable stock, or I will show you how to make stocks in the future blogs
The Ingredients:
6 c soymilk
6 c combination of Kombu and vegetable stock (you can add more stock)
1 piece of nori sheet cut up to very small pieces (the seaweed used for making Sushi)
1 block of tofu cut into 1 inch squares and deep fried
1 chopped tomato
3 ripe tomatoes cut in wedges
1/2 cup minced pineapple
1 tbs vinegar, lemon juice or tamarind juice
2 cloves minced garlic
2 leeks (the white part sliced, or you can use the white part of green onions)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbs sugar
3 tbs canola oil
About 1 tbs salt, black pepper to taste (you can adjust this amount),
Chives, thinly sliced white onions, and cilantro for a garnish
Accompany with dia rau song
1 lb of cooked rice noodles.

In the large pot, bring the 6 cups of soymilk to a simmer.
Heat 3tbs oil in a sauce pan and sauté’ the leek for 5 minutes,
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute
Add chili powder, chopped tomato and sugar , and cook until the tomato releases its color Add pineapple and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
When you see the red amber color appear, pour this mixture and the nori sheet into the simmering soymilk. Add the vinegar
Cover the pot and turn off the heat.
It might take about 10 minutes for the soymilk to start forming a soft curd tofu.
After another 10 or 15 minutes, add 6 cups of stock and bring it back to simmer again – use low heat so the soft curd tofu will not break
Add the fried tofu, tomato wedges , salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook the soup for 15 more minutes.
Finally, divide the noodles among 4 soup bowls, top with sliced onions, chives and cilantro. Ladle the soup and soft curd tofu, a few fried tofu and tomato over the noodles. Serve with "dia rau song" on the side.

Plate of vegetables (dia rau song):
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 small red chilies, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
2 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup shredded water spinach (rau muong)
Some shredded cabbage can be added
Mints, cilantro and chives

* To make Kombu stock you will need:
5 cup water and 1 piece of dried Kombu (4 to 6 inches)
Clean dried kombu with wet paper towel and soaked in the pot with 5 cup of water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes bring the pot of soaked kombu to boil with very low heat and simmer for 10minutes. You can use the cooked kombu from salad to making desert ect..


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for asking so I can correct my mistake. Add the vinegar at the same time adding the color mixture and the nori sheet.