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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tauhu Goreng - Deep Fried Tofu With Peanut Sauce

Tauhu 3

Tauhu 2

Tauhu 7

Tauhu 4
If  I ever have to pick a favourite food, I would choose Tofu (bean curd) without even the slightest momentary hesitation. My colleagues have all come to know that whenever we choose to eat at an Asian restaurant during our travels, I have to have a Tofu dish. It is fortunate that Tofu is a common and popular ingredient in most Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean restaurants. It is even more fortunate that so far, none of my travel companions, are averse to Tofu dishes in Asia. Tofu has to be the most neutral and comforting ingredient one can work with. On its own, its taste is so neutral that it is impossible for it to offend any palate.

However, I do realise that the nutritious protein component has acquired a somewhat irksome reputation in the west as a tasteless, uninteresting health freak food. Here in Asia, we use Tofu in more interesting and creative ways. There are countless recipes out there that feature the humble ingredient. Off the top of my head, I can already recall posting at least 4 or 5 Tofu dishes in this space.

Peanut Sauce
The recipe I feature today is a popular tofu snack in SE Asia.  This can be served as an appetizer or a tofu salad dish. For myself, a larger Tofu square would be enough to be my meal. The slightly spicy peanut sauce is the integral element that lends an exotic appeal to this otherwise plain and simple dish.

Totally easy to prepare and great to be served at parties. I used the recipe featured in Shermay Lee's The New Mrs Lee's Cookbook Vol. 2. The instructions are simple and easy to follow but the peanut sauce turns out a tad too thick. I could possibly thin it down a little more with water and add a dash of lime juice to it the next time I prepare this again.

Tauhu 3(250)

Recipe :

Bean Sprouts          100g
Cucumber               1
Firm Tofu                400g (2 pieces) (If you purchase this from an Asian grocery store, look for Taukua)
Oil for deep frying

Peanut Sauce
Garlic                     4 cloves
Red Chilli               2
Palm Sugar             2 tbsp (can be replaced with brown sugar)
Salt                        1/4 tsp
Rice Vinegar          1 tbsp (those used for sushi is fine)
Dark soya sauce     2 tbsp (try to use the darker version. This is different from the light soya sauce commonly
                              used for flavouring)
Water                     8 tbsp (I would suggest to add more water to adjust the flow of the sauce)
Roasted ground peanut 160g


1. Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and keep aside.
2. Wash cucumber and slice it.
3. Place garlic and chilli in a food processer and grind it to a paste.
4. Place (3) in a saucepan with the rest of the peanut sauce ingredient. Heat up and cook until sugar dissolves completely. (if you like your sauce to be smoother and less chunky, you can process the cooled down sauce in the food processor again)
5. Heat up,in a wok, enough oil to at least half immerse the tofu. The oil needs to be very hot. Normally, we insert the tip of a wooden chopstick to check for small bubbles before we put in the tofu.
(before deep frying, sandwich the tofu between 4 pieces of kitchen towel and lay a heavy tray on the the tofu. This will dry out the excess moisture in the tofu and prevent too much splattering when you deep fry it)
6. Deep fry tofu until golden brown. Be patient and do not try to turn the tofu before it has formed a crust - otherwise the tofu will crumble.
7. Lay a plate with sliced cucumber. Lay fried tofu on top (pre-cut) , top with bean sprouts and peanut sauce.


edith said...

I used to dislike this dish till I tasted one that was from an alley in Haji Lane. That one totally changed my mind. Unfortunately the old man no longer sells there. :(

heidi said...

also love tofu in any presentation, one thing I learned to like when we move to China.

now, from all tofu presentations, fried tofu is my favorite one. Thanks for sharing this recipe, that sauce looks spicy but delicious.

Kulsum said...

I really do hate tofu. But then I always like to think I hate it because I might have not had it right till now. And deep fried makes everything better right? Should.give.this.a.try. Looks great!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Kulsum: :) I think the problem is in the West, you don't get very good tofu. If you can try to find something at the Asian grocery stores, that would be a better bet. I have always been told that Paneer is Indian tofu - but I don't think so. They taste different.

Jean said...

hey i know this dish!! it's really popular among me and my colleagues, so delicious and yummy! yours looks really good like the ones I have at the restaurants hehe

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Jean: This is really simple to make. Now you can make it yourself! :)

Not Quite Nigella said...

Now this is the kind of dish where people that complain that tofu doesn't have any taste clearly can't complain! :D

Cakelaw said...

I think I could eat the peanut sauce all by itslef - what a gorgeous colour it has.

Lisa H. said...

I could eat this anytime anyday..
and I love the pot .. it is so cute :D

Von said...

I recently had a tofu dish at a thai restaurant which looks VERY similar to this- it was called tamarind tofu and it was sweet, but it also had a strong peanut taste. :D I've never heard of Tauhu Goreng before, but it looks delicious! Though it's not my favourite food, I love tofu too :)

ICook4Fun said...

I think we can get pretty good tofu here especially with different kind of firmness to it. Diana and I loves tofu cook in any style but not Carlos. He said it is so tasteless. I would love to try this out especially with peanut topping.

grub said...

ah tofu one of my favourite foods :D everytime i'm holoday-ing in Asia i have to eat tofu everyday because there are somany different varieties, though i don't dare try the stinky tofu though :P

Juliana said...

Shirley, this tofu dish with the peanut sauce sounds and look delicious...what a great combination of ingredients...easy and so tasty. Hope you are having a great week :-)

Ben said...

I'm not a big tofu fan, but this I will eat with no problem. Beautiful blog!

Cooking Gallery said...

I never liked tofu when I was younger but now I have come to appreciate tofu like never before. You're right, most people in the West think that tofu is tasteless. But they're really missing something, just like me when I was a child ;).

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

As a (mostly) vegetarian I adore tofu, but only use non-GMO, organic, firm/high protein and usually eat it plain in salads, etc. This sounds like a delicious variation and the peanut sauce sounds very tasty!

Anh said...

tofu is my favourite thing in the world. And this recipe only makes it better. thank you!

daphne said...

My favourite part is the peanut sauce. And in all honesty, when I was younger I didn't like tofu as much but think it tasted much better with the sauce on it!

Still, I love this this- and really appreciate it as I am older. Gonna try that peanut sauce!

Indonesia Eats said...

It's always been my fave, esp with kecap manis with chilies or sambal petis

Jane Ko said...

Yum this sounds really good. And my boyfriend loves peanut sauce.

Will be making this in the future. And gorgeous photos btw :)

maameemoomoo - a ½ food blog said...

Would you believe me if i say i haven't really tried this version before? Suaku right?!?!

Anyway, passing your sambal recipe to my helper to prepare one of these days! Thanks for the recipe :)

Jo said...

I love this dish with the satay peanut sauce. Simple, delicious and so nutritious as well.

Zurin said...

Love this ! peanut sauce and tofu cannot be wrong at all!

tigerfish said...

We can start "pimping" tofu together! ;p

Pick Yin said...

In the west tofu has been pushed into the *yawn* vegetarian *yawn* dish corner, I mean, tofu cake? Yuk...

Have you tried the Hakka version stir fried with salted fish and minced pork? >:)

mina said...

looks delicious! /bookmark
jeg elskerrrrrr tofu. my favourite is one of the simplest: silken tofu lightly steamed and topped with a mix of soy sauce, scallions, korean red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. P:

alicia said...

in Indonesia, we call this "Tahu Goreng" instead of "Tauhu Goreng". Tahu literally means tofu and goreng means fried :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Mmm looks delicious! especially that peanut sauce =)

Mei Teng said...

I love tofu dishes. Fried or steamed, love them all.

mycookinghut said...

Tofu is my favourite and this looks really delicious!


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