Tofu and Rice with Scallion Oil
Recipe courtesy of Diep Tran for Food Network Kitchen

Tofu and Rice with Scallion Oil

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
The genius of this six-ingredient dish lies in the easy but mighty scallion oil. There are many ways to make scallion oil, ranging from merely pouring hot oil over scallions to more elaborate preparations involving a myriad of ingredients. This version adds fish sauce and a touch of sugar. The result is an umami-laden sauce that transforms a simple bowl of tofu and rice into an example of Vietnamese home cooking at its simplest and finest. You’ll make more scallion oil than needed for this recipe. Refrigerate the leftover oil in an airtight container for up to five days and use it to dress grilled meats, roasted potatoes or vegetables.



  1. Cut the tofu block crosswise into 6 equal segments, then cut the segments into 3 equal pieces to make 18 pieces. Press the tofu pieces between paper towels to dry them. Set aside.
  2. Add the scallions, fish sauce and sugar to a medium heatproof bowl and place the bowl next to the stove. Place a wire rack in a baking pan or sheet and place next to the stove as well.
  3. Add 2 1/2 inches of oil to a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan or high-walled cast-iron skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil reaches 190 degrees F (see Cook's Note), ladle out 1/2 cup of oil and slowly pour over the scallion mixture; it should sizzle. Set aside the scallion oil while you fry the tofu.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in the saucepan to 375 degrees F. Add the tofu and fry until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to the wire rack-lined baking pan to drain.
  5. Divide the tofu among 2 to 3 bowls of rice. Stir the scallion oil to incorporate the oil with the scallions, then ladle generous spoonfuls over the tofu.

Cook’s Note

It is important that the oil temperature is close to 190 degrees F. If it's too cool, the scallions won’t release their sweetness and have a harsh, raw aftertaste. If it's too hot, the flavor and color of the scallions will lose vibrancy. If done correctly, the scallion oil will retain its verdant color for up to 5 days. The tofu here is fried, but you could poach it instead, or pick up a package of fried tofu available at many Asian markets and reheat.