Tahu Goreng (Indonesian Deep Fried Tofu)

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 10 Mins Total Time: 15 Mins

Tahu goreng is one of those delectably simple dishes that is a vegan staple when travelling in Indonesia. Funnily enough, it is also a Buddhist temple fair staple in Singapore. My mother always brings home a tahu goreng whenever there is a temple fair somewhere. I guess once you’ve mastered the sauce, the dish is really easy to construct and great for scaling up exponentially.

Tahu goreng is naturally a vegan dish, so there’s really nothing we need to do to veganise it. It is often mistaken for its non-vegan cousin tahu telor, where the tofu is dipped in egg before deep frying. But, no, our friend here was born vegan. My mother’s version of deep-fried tofu is obviously the best, and I’ve tried to replicate it here.

When making tahu goreng, you must use a big block of semi-firm tofu. The contrast between the crispy exterior and the soft inside is absolutely essential to the allure of the dish. Don’t be a cop-out. Dive bravely into the experience of deep-frying large things. Embrace the culinary culture of hot oil. It has its rewards. (Or use an air-fryer, that works too!)

There is some variation to the standard toppings of a tahu goreng. I like cucumber and shallots, but some people like bean sprouts, kangkong, or crispy fried garlic. Feel free to experiment and use what you have available.

If you are making this for kids, omit the chilli.

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0/14 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • For Sauce


0/11 Instructions
  • Fry shallots or red onions until golden and put aside for later. You can also use store-bought fried shallots. Julienne the cucumber.
  • Pound the peanuts until roughly ground, not too fine. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, just put it in bag and pound it with the back of a knife. Toast the peanuts and sesame seeds in a non-stick pan over low heat until golden.
  • Put about 1.5 tbsp of tamarind paste in half a cup of warm water. Rub the tamarind paste, removing the seeds, and rubbing the paste through a sieve until you get a thick tamarind juice.
  • Fry the garlic and chilli in 0.5 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat until the raw smell is gone.
  • Mix the remaining sauce ingredients in a separate bowl.
  • Add the sauce into the pan with the garlic and chilli.
  • Add the toasted peanuts and sesame seeds. As the sauce comes to boil it will thicken. Turn the stove off once it boils.
  • Pat dry the tofu until it is completely dry on the surface, or it will splutter when it hits the hot oil.
  • Heat oil in a large and deep sauce pan. You want it proper deep so the oil doesn't come out and attack you later. You can deep fry or shallow fry, but use at least oil to half the height of the tofu. Fry the tofu until golden on all sides. Drain on a kitchen towel.
  • Slice the tofu across in both directions, but only to 90% depth. This is so it will be easy to pull apart at the table, but it won't fall apart before serving. Put the sauce at the bottom of the plate and the tofu on top of the sauce.
  • Top the tofu with cucumber and fried shallots.


#cucumber  #peanuts  #sesame  #shallots  #tofu  

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