Tahu Pedas

Tofu pedas, spicy tofu recipe

Tofu pedas is a simple dish of crispy fried tofu in a sweet and slightly spicy soy sauce and chili pepper. This dish fits perfectly in a vegan diet. Or as a side dish alongside a tender sajoer lodeh, for example.

This tofu pedas is enough for 3 people (as a side dish) and is ready in 30 minutes.

Tahoe Pedas # 348 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 289.


  • 1 block tofu (about 400 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons of oil

Herbs and spices

  • 5 tablespoons of chopped onions
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of sambal ulek
  • 1 teaspoon of galangal
  • 1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar
  • 1 salam leaf (Asian bay leaf)
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • salt
  1. Cut the bean curd into dice, sprinkle with a some salt and fry in the oil until golden brown.
  2. Drain on kitchen towel
  3. Rub onions, garlic, sambal, galangal and sugar together into a paste.
  4. Fry this in the leftover oil, add the soy sauce and salam leaves and stir in the pieces of tofu.

Tahu pedas ingredients

I get firm tofu from the supermarket (they only have one). Laos is also available at the supermarket, as a powder. Only for salam leaf I have to go to a specialist Asian shop. Salam is Asian bay leaf.

This recipe contains very simple ingredients but because of the combinations makes a fantastic all over flavor. Important ot remember: fry the tofu until cripsy. It makes all the difference.

I therefore start with frying my tofu in at least six tablespoons of sunflower oil. I sprinkle the cubes with half a teaspoon of salt and then carefully place them in the hot oil.

On medium heat I fry the tofu until the pieces turn golden brown and crispy. This takes a while: least 15 minutes.

Fried tahu

While they are baking, I have time to add the rest of the ingredients in my mortar (except the salam leaf) and grind this well. I’m making a bumbu.

Bumbu in mortar

Because I don’t have any sambal ulek, I use a piece of chili pepper. While rubbing the bumbu I add half a teaspoon of salt as well. That makes the ingredients turn tender quickly.

When my tofu is done. I add the bumbu to the leftover oil and saute, with the salam leaf, until the onions turn darker.

If everything is cooked well (after 3 minutes), the soy sauce can be added. I use ABC Kecap Manis: extremely sweet and syrupy. Everything sticks well to the tofu this way.

I love this simple tahu pedas that just needs some real attention. Great when you follow a vegan diet or make it because it is extremely delicious to eat.

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