When it comes to Indonesian food, there is an abundance of mouth-watering dishes like rendang, chicken satay, soto, nasi goreng, and many more. However, one thing that instantly reminds you of Indonesia is its unique and spicy sambal. One of our favorite sambal dishes is sambal tofu.
This dish is incredibly easy to make, and the ingredients are mostly easy to get. Its simplicity makes it the perfect choice when your fridge has limited items. Moreover, it is the ideal dish when you crave something spicy to accompany a bowl of warm rice.
In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to create delicious sambal oelek tofu recipes!
What is Sambal Tofu?
Sambal tofu is an Indonesian vegan dish that uses a combination of spicy chili sauce and tofu. This dish is not only popular in Indonesia but also in other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia. It is commonly served as an appetizer or main course alongside a bowl of steamed rice.
What sets the Indonesian version apart is the use of sambal oelek, a specialty Indonesian chili paste made with terasi or shrimp paste. Unlike the smooth sauces known in the West, Indonesian sambal oelek is roughly mashed, maintaining its unique texture. Traditionally, it is prepared by hand using a mortar and pestle.
If you prefer a vegetarian tofu sambal recipe, you can substitute sambal terasi with another type of sambal ulek. This tofu dish is simple to prepare and can be cooked in various ways. Not only is it incredibly nutritious and healthy, but it also boasts a delightful flavor.
In addition to rice, you can enjoy this dish with other starches like noodles. The plain base of the dish beautifully absorbs the spicy and umami flavors of the sambal tofu. If you prefer a slightly tangy taste, you can enhance it by adding lime leaves or fresh lime juice.
How to Make Sambal Oelek Tofu?
There is no right or wrong way to make spicy sambal tofu because cooking is all about experimentation. Some people prefer to make it spicier, similar to the Malaysian version, while others may add coconut milk to create a curry-like gravy. As a result, there are numerous versions of this dish, featuring complex ingredients such as cilantro, ginger, tamarind, and more.
However, we will provide you with the simplest tofu sambal recipe that you can easily prepare. Despite its minimal ingredients and steps, you will not regret it once you taste it. So, follow the steps below:
1. Tools for Cooking Sambal Tofu
The tools that are needed to make sambal ulek tofu are mostly available in the kitchen. Here are the tools that should be prepared:
- Frying spatula
- Cutting board
- Paper towel
- Bowl to put the ingredients
2. Sambal Tofu Ingredients
The next step is gathering all the ingredients that are needed. Keep in mind, you can add other ingredients or eliminate certain ingredients. Take a closer look at the ingredient list below:
- 1 pack of firm tofu and cut into squares
- 2 chopped large tomatoes
- 2 large onions, sliced thinly
- 1 clove of chopped garlic
- 1/2 inch piece of chopped ginger
- 1/2 cup of light soya sauce (optional)
- 3 tsp of sambal oelek
- 1/2 cup of cilantro
- 2 tsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp of sugar
3. Cooking Process
After you have all the tools and ingredients available, you can start the cooking process right away. Here’s the step to make spicy sambal tofu:
1. The first step is marinating the tofu cubes in the soy sauce for 30 minutes. Ensure that all the square tofu is marinated evenly.
2. Then, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat it to stir-fry the tofu. Wait until it turns golden brown on all sides. Once it is fully cooked, drain it on a paper towel.
3. Saute the ginger, garlic, onion, and sambal in the same oil. Wait until the oil rises to the surface and the aromas spread.
4. After that, add tomatoes, tomato puree, and salt to taste. Wait until it becomes smooth gravy and when it thickens,add water.
5. Add sugar to caramelize and turn it into gravy dark red.
6. The last cooking step is to add the fried tofu pieces to the gravy. Stir well until it is mixed evenly and garnish with cilantro.
7. Voila! It’s ready to enjoy and served with steamed rice.
Make Your Own Sambal Tofu to Enjoy the Addictive Spiciness!
Simple yet incredibly delectable is the perfect way to describe the sambal tofu recipe. It features simple ingredients, but the combination of vegan elements and the intense spiciness is truly impressive. The key to this recipe lies in using oelek sambal, which brings the authentic taste of Indonesian sambal.
If you want to experience the most genuine and mouth watering flavors, make sure to have the sambal on hand. Fortunately, you can enjoy the addictive spicy and savory Indonesian sambal easily with instant chili sauce. Therefore, visit Nyahtewel to discover authentic and convenient Indonesian sambals!
- What is the main ingredient of sambal tofu?
The key ingredients of the tofu sambal recipe are tofu and the authentic oelek sambal.
- How long does it take to marinate tofu?
It depends on your preference. The longer it marinated, the richer the taste is. However, if your tofu is in the right amount, it typically takes 30 minutes.
- What can I use instead of sambal oelek?
If you don’t have sambal oelek, you can make a chilly paste. So, soak 6-10 red chilies. Then, grind them until they turn into a wet paste. However, the taste may not be as rich and authentic as sambal oelek.
- What is the best way to serve spicy sambal tofu?
As we mentioned before, the best way to serve it is with steamed rice and garnished with fried onion.