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Indonesian tofu in soy sauce (Semur tahu)

Tofu is rightly boring but I have been in love with this ingredient for quite some time now. The magic with tofu is how it is prepared, as it takes all its flavour from the sauce and other ingredients it is served with. Besides it is a superfood, nutritious and healthy.

This is a lovely and easy dish to make. The combination of bean thread noodles and tofu is lovely, and the textures range from soft tofu to chewy noodles. The sauce is a lovely salty sour from the tomato ketchup. The dish looked lovely, and my guests were very surprised by how good it was. Loving this one.

 I own quite a few cookbooks written by Sri Owen. She is the guru of Asian cooking, Indonesian, Thai and contemporary flavours from Asia. Her recipe for Laksa is phenomenal. Like her other cookbooks, I love this book, the recipes, and the presentation.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


1/4 oz. bean thread noodles

4 cups water

1 pack firm or extra firm tofu

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon oil

1 small onion, finely diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato ketchup

1 cup water

5-6 shallots, sliced thinly

1 tablespoon oil

Basil to garnish

Heat the water in a pot. When it boils, remove it from the stove and add the noodles. Cover and allow the noodles to soak for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cut the tofu into 5-6 large blocks. Add the oil to a frying pan and fry the tofu browning it, about 4-5 minutes on each side. I generally avoid this step for a healthier dish.

Hat the oil in a small pot. Add the onions and sautè on low heat for 3 minutes. When they are white, add garlic and saute until the onion is lightly golden. The garlic will no longer smell raw.

Add the soy sauce and ketchup and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the tofu slices, coating the tops with the sauce. Cover the pot and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the stove.

Add the oil to a small frying pan. Add the shallots and fry on low heat until the onions are well caramelized and golden. Drain on paper towels.

Add the cooked noodles in a thin layer on a shallow serving platter. Gently scoop out the tofu, it will be very soft and want to break apart, onto the noodles. Drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with the fried shallots and the basil. Serve immediately.

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