Tahu Goreng is a delicious traditional Indonesian Deep Fried Tofu recipe.
Also known as Tauhu Goreng, the vegan dish is typically served on a plate featuring crunchy deep fried firm tofu topped with fresh bean sprouts and sliced cucumbers.
The mouth-watering salad is drizzled with spicy peanut sauce and sprinkled with crunchy fried shallots and roasted peanuts.
We know you’ll love making our easy Tahu Goreng recipe, best served with a side of sambal kecap.
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What Is Tahu Goreng?
Tahu Goreng, also known as Tauhu Goreng, is the culinary term for any type of fried tofu dish in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
In the Malay and Indonesian languages; tauhu or tahu refers to ‘tofu’ and goreng indicates ‘fried’.
Tofu originated in China and was brought to Southeast Asia by Chinese immigrants. Culinary historians believe its first arrival to Indonesia was through Khubilai Khan’s army in Kediri in 1292.
Tahu Goreng can be pan fried or deep fried, plain or battered. In Indonesia, Tahu Goreng is usually eaten with sambal kecap, a popular hot condiment made from kecap manis sweet soy sauce and chopped spicy chili peppers and shallots. Some popular variants also use peanut sauce with chili instead.
When preparing the dish, cakes of hard tofu are deep fried until golden brown. A popular way to serve fried tofu is to cut it diagonally in half and arrange on a plate garnished with fresh bean sprouts, cucumber and scallions. A thick sauce is prepared with shallots, garlic, chili peppers, soy sauce and tangy tamarind paste.
Travel to Indonesia by Making Tahu Goreng at Home
I love traveling to Asia.
After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, The Maldives, India and Malaysia.
In 2008 I spent 2 months backpacking through Indonesia, adventuring through Yogyakarta, Borobodur, Gunung Bromo, Gili Trawangan, and Bali. I fell so head over heels in love with Bali that years later I returned as a food and travel journalist to write the ultimate Bali Honeymoon Guide.
I dined at some of Indonesia’s best restaurants while exploring Bali’s Best Hotels & Resorts and fancy Bali Cocktail Bars. I was on the hunt to sample the must-try tastes of Bali, such as Babi Guling, Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, Lawar, Satay, and Tahu Goreng.
I became a fan of this Indonesian Tofu dish as I’ve always had a penchant for texturally complex salads. The tofu is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The sliced cucumber and bean sprouts offer a juicy crunch that contrasts nicely with creamy peanut sauce, which is spicy and umami forward.
If you’ve traveled to Indonesia and fallen in love with Tahu Goreng it’s easy to recreate the dish at home by making our quick & easy recipe.
Where To Eat Indonesian Fried Tofu
Haven’t traveled to Indonesia before? It may be helpful to first sample fried tofu with peanut sauce at a local Indonesian or Malaysian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can determine the perfect spicy heat level for the peanut sauce, the amount of fried tofu to serve on each plate and complimentary dishes to serve at the table.
In Toronto, popular Indonesian and Malaysian restaurants that may serve a traditional Tahu Goreng recipe include Borrel Restaurant, Little Sister, Soos, Gourmet Malaysia, Restoran Malaysia and NaiNai.
My Family Loves Homemade Tahu Goreng
I love cooking traditional Asian dishes for my friends and family.
After enjoying many trips to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia as a professional food and travel journalist I was keen to come home and recreate the popular fried tofu salad.
I knew my parents would enjoy Tahu Goreng because they love crispy deep fried tofu, creamy peanut satay sauce and healthy vegan recipes.
I first made this vegan fried tofu recipe on a hot summer day. The hearty dish can be served as an appetizer or side dish but I like to serve it for lunch as a meal on its own. The recipe ticks all the nutrient boxes featuring protein and healthy fat via tofu and peanuts, as well as nutritious vitamin rich lime juice, cucumbers and bean sprouts.
We love making this dish whenever vegan or vegetarian friends are coming over for lunch or dinner. It’s a great recipe to have in your back pocket as it’s eye-popping and absolutely dressed to impress on the plate!
Tahu Goreng Recipe Health Benefits
This Indonesian Tofu recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese and phosphorous.
Shallots are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content so are great at hydrating the body. To maximize their nutrient content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled. Peeling them reduces the amount of fibre, as well as certain vitamins and minerals.
Peanuts are rich in protein, fat, and fibre. While peanuts may have a large amount of fat, most of the fats they contain are known as “good fats.”
Chili has been proven to help reduce the duration of sickness, prevent heart disease, and promote weight loss.
Tamarind is a rich source of magnesium and contains more calcium than many plant-based foods.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, limes help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Indonesian Deep Fried Tofu Recipe Cooking Tips
This vegan Tahu Goreng recipe is quick and easy to make at home. We’ve included a few helpful tips and tricks to get you started in the kitchen!
- Tahu Goreng is always made with firm tofu do not replace with medium, soft or silken tofu as it will fall apart in the hot bubbling oil.
- We suggest using canola oil to deep fry but you can substitute with another flavourless vegetable oil. Ensure the oil has a high smoke point.
- We’ve used palm sugar in this recipe as it’s authentically used in Southeast Asia as a sweetener but you can substitute for brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- We’ve used an English cucumber in this recipe but you can substitue for Persian cucumber if you like.
- We’ve used Thai long red chili in this recipe but since my family can’t handle a lot of heat we removed the seeds. If you like spicy food feel free to add as many chopped up chilies as you’d like.
- Only use organic peanut butter that is made with 100% peanuts and does not have additives like oil or sugar as this is a savoury dish. You can use smooth or crunchy peanut butter depending on your tastes. They both taste great!
- Kecap Manis is a sweet soy sauce from Southeast Asia which you can purchase in an Asian grocer or online.
- We’ve used lime juice in this recipe but you can use freshly squeezed lemon if you prefer.
What To Serve with Tahu Goreng
Tauhu Goreng can be served as a side salad or main course. In Indonesia it is typically served alongside the condiment sambal kecap.
If you’re hosting Malay, Indonesian or Singaporean themed dinner party you may like to serve this Tahu Goreng recipe with:
- Seafood Laksa Singaporean Shrimp & Fish Soup
- Singaporean Bak Chor Mee Minced Pork Noodle Soup
- Vegan Citrus “Rojak” Singapore Salad
- Penang Prawn Noodle Soup Hokkien Mee
- Vegetarian Roti Canai Curry
- Perkedel Jagung Crispy Indonesian Corn Fritters
- Asinan Sayur Indonesian Coleslaw Cabbage Salad
- Acar Timun Indonesian Cucumber Pickles
If you have leftover Fried Indonesian Tofu you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Be sure to store leftovers separately so the vegetables don’t wilt and crispy tofu doesn’t get soggy from the peanut sauce.
When ready to enjoy your leftovers take the deep fried tofu pieces and warm them up in your oven or air fryer so the exterior gets crispy. You can warm up the peanut satay sauce in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. You can thin it out by adding a little more lime juice.
You May Also Enjoy These Deep Fried Recipes…
- French Mashed Potato Fritters
- Crispy Fried Cajun Shrimp Boulettes
- Tod Mun Pla Thai Fish Cake
- Crispy Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich
- Chilli Paneer Gravy Restaurant Style Masala
- Berenjenas con Miel Spanish Fried Eggplant
- Parippu Vada Recipe With Coconut Chutney
- Middle Eastern Spiced Pea Fritters
- Bitterballen Recipe Easy Dutch Fried Meatballs
- Lebanese Kibbeh Fried Beef Croquette
- Vegetarian Malai Kofta
- Grabong Northern Thai Pumpkin Fritter
- Calgary Ginger Beef
- Shrimp & Pork Vietnamese Egg Rolls
How To Make Indonesian Tahu Goreng
Tahu Goreng Indonesian Fried Tofu
- Slotted spoon
- French knife
- Food processor
- 800 g Firm Tofu
- Canola Oil for frying
- 1 Cucumber deseeded, thinly sliced
- 200 g Beansprouts blanched
- 50 g Roasted Peanuts
- 1/2 cup Fried Shallots garnish
- 2.5 tbsp Palm Sugar
- 250 ml Boiling Water
- 3 tbsp Tamarind Pulp
- 2 Thai Red Chilies chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves chopped
- 300 g Peanut Butter
- 1 tbsp Kecap Manis Sweet Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
- Mix the palm sugar with 125 ml of boiling water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Mix the hot palm sugar syrup with the tamarind pulp and leave for 10 minutes, then press through a sieve.
- In a food processor blend the chillies with the garlic to make a smooth paste. Add the peanut butter, tamarind syrup, kecap manis and lime juice and blend to a chunky, thick sauce, adding more hot water if necessary.
- Transfer to a small saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, over low heat for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Pat the tofu dry with paper towel and slice in 4 cm cubes. Heat enough oil in a wok to cover the tofu over medium heat. Lightly fry the tofu until it is golden and crisp all over. Drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Put the fried tofu on a serving plate. Arrange slices of cucumber and blanched or steamed sprouts around and over the tofu, then pour the sauce over it. Garnish with chopped peanuts and fried shallots.
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