When I finished making my previous tomato recipe last weekend, I mentally came up with more ideas for this fruit which is treated like a vegetable. This time I thought of the easy Kamatis-Tokwa Guisado we often enjoyed back in the day at my parents’ home. Kamatis (say ‘kah-mah-tis’) translates to tomato; tokwa (say ‘tok-wah’) is tofu.
In the spring to summer season or around Lent, I cook a lot of seafood and vegetable dishes. Sometimes the fish entrees are not enough to fill up the men in our household. So I serve sauteed sides like this one.
Tomatoes are known to have a rich supply of antioxidants. Health experts suggest that the lycopene in tomatoes are linked to lower risks of coronary artery diseases among other health benefits.
Health studies define tofu as made of soybean curds, is low-calorie, gluten-free, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron and calcium.
Personally, I found the simple, unassuming flavor of the silky tofu cubes was a good backdrop to the sweet tomatoes, crunchy scallions, salty fish sauce and succulent shrimps.
And like most Filipino dishes, this hearty side was wonderful paired with a bowl of piping hot, steaming boiled rice. Often it’s the simple things that bring the most pleasure.
A recent blog event on recipes using tomatoes inspired me to cook and share with you this Kamatis-Tokwa Guisado or Tomatoes-Tofu Saute. This is one of the easiest sides to make and pair with any Filipino or Asian meal. Simply saute together the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and it's ready in minutes. The best part is that the tomatoes you pick don't have to look their best because you chop and slice everything for the saute. This is an Asian In America recipe. Serves 2.
- vegetable oil - 1/4 cup, divided, use half for pan-frying tofu, rest for saute
- tofu - 1 large (14 oz., or 397 g.) organic extra firm, drained
- garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- onions - 1 piece, chopped
- tomatoes - 2 pieces, chopped or sliced
- water - 1/2 cup
- fresh shrimps - 1 cup, peeled, chopped
- fish sauce (Filipino patis) - 1 Tablespoon
- sea salt - 1 teaspoon
- freshly-ground black pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
- scallions or green onions - 2 stalks, chopped
- fresh parsley - 2 teaspoons, chopped, for garnish (optional)
- In a large, non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, add half of the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, place the entire piece of tofu and pan fry till brown. It takes about 5 minutes to brown on each side. Turn it only once. Make sure each side is brown before turning. Remove from skillet and drain on parchment paper. When cool enough, cut in 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- Using the same skillet, over medium high heat, add more vegetable oil if needed. When oil is hot, saute the garlic and onions. Then add the tomatoes and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Pour the water and the fish sauce (patis) into the skillet. Add the shrimps and cook till they turn pink. Mash the tomatoes slightly with the back of the spoon. Continue cooking till tomatoes are soft for about 8 minutes.
- Return the tofu cubes and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Garnish with chopped scallions and parsley if desired. Serve warm as a side with other entrees.
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