Recipe: Vietnamese Tofu and Tomato Sauce

Christmas is over. O.V.E.R. Sleeping in until 10am? Bucks Fizz for breakfast? Party food buffets? Not cool anymore. January, you’re a cruel mistress.

But, dare I say it, I’m ready for a change. As much as I adore the excesses of the festive season, I do reach the point when I crave food that isn’t 90% fat and smothered in breadcrumbs. But – and here’s where most January ‘detoxes’ are doomed – this food still needs to taste good. It also needs to fill me up, warm me up, and, most importantly, cheer me up, as I plunge back into reality.

And I’ve got just the thing. Vietnamese Tofu and Tomato Sauce. You know that kind of meal that makes your mouth water just thinking about it? Yeah, that. Think crispy tofu, coated in a sauce of velvety fresh tomatoes flecked with garlic and spring onion, and finished with a spicy burst of white pepper. Simple, cheap and oh so tasty, it has the added bonus of transporting me to the other side of the planet, far away from the cold, dark nights of England and into the hot, golden days of Vietnam.

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Flashback: Making bánh xèo in Hội An

The irresistible allure of travel is conjured in many different ways. Some people travel to satisfy their thrill-seeking urges, others want to immerse themselves in new cultures and languages. Some simply want to relax in a faraway setting.

Travel has the power to satisfy countless cravings and desires, and although there’s definitely something in all of the above (and much more) that motivates me to travel, there’s one stand-out factor that invokes my wanderlust. Food.

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