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, 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.
Kamatis-Tokwa with Shrimps Guisado
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil divided, use half for pan-frying tofu, rest for saute
- 1 large (14 oz./397 g.) block extra firm tofu organic, drained
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 whole onion chopped
- 2 whole large tomatoes chopped or sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 pound fresh shrimps peeled, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon patis (fish sauce)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper powder
- 2 stalks scallion greens chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- 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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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.