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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tom sot ca chua (King prawns with tomato sauce)



I often like to try out new ways and techniques on classic recipes. The results haven't always turned out the way I hoped or imagined, while other times, I get pleasantly surprised. Sot ca chua is a classic Vietnamese tomato base sauce for many popular Vietnamese dishes. Ca chien sot ca chau (pan-fried fish with tomato sauce) and dau hu sot ca chua (pan-fried tofu with tomato sauce) are couple of my favourites. In Asian cuisine, most of the time if not all the time, sauces are thicken with cornstarch or tapioca starch. Inspired by an episode on Masterchef, I came up with an idea to use flour to not only thicken the sauce but give it richness and body. I know many of you reading this post right now are probably saying 'that's not how you make sot ca chau'. It's certainly not the way my mother would make it either. But to me cooking is not always about following recipes. Cooking should also be an outlet for your creativity and recipes should be used merely as a guideline. So if you like to try something a little different, give this a try. Although this isn't an authentic way of making sot ca chua, it's definitely tasty.


Recipe

500g king prawns, shelled and deveined
1 large tomato, finely diced
2 tbsp shallot white stem only, chopped finely
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

Accompaniments

coriander, finely chopped
shallots, finely chopped
French style baguettes

Method

1. In a large non stick pan on medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions, shallot and garlic until fragrant.
2. Stir in the flour and cook it for 30 seconds before adding the tomato paste. Quickly stir in tomato paste, then gradually add in the water and stir.
3. Then add in the dice tomatoes, chilli powder and season with sugar and fish sauce.
4. Let the sauce reduce and thickens a little before add in the prawns. Taste and test for seasoning.
5. When prawns a cooked, take off heat and serve.
6. Garnish with coriander and shallots, enjoy with hot crusty Baguettes.





This is my entry to Delicious Vietnam #16, a monthly blogging event celebrating Vietnamese cuisine which was started by Anh of A Food Lover’s Journey and Hong & Kim of Ravenous Couple. Thanks to Door to my kitcken for hosting this month.

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