The first time I learned of Tahu Bacem or loosely translated as spiced tofu, was when I lived in Jakarta. Almost every day I had these for dinner 🙂 I’m a tofu maniac to begin with.
The tofu is twiced-cooked. First, it is slowly cooked in spices like ground coriander seeds, ground shallots, ground galangal, bay leaves, and palm sugar and then deep-fried. I like the smell and taste of coriander seeds or we called it as ketumbar in Indonesian language. Coriander seeds are widely used in Indonesian kitchen. I hate grinding up spices too, so if I can find the powder version, I have no problem using them versus the fresh ingredients. I updated this recipe and make it more simple and doable even for those who is not familiar with Indonesian cooking.
TAHU DAN TEMPEH BACEM / SPICED TOFU AND TEMPEH
- 14 oz extra firm tofu cut into 3 x 3- inch
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil divided
- 1 Tbsp coriander powder
- 1 Tbsp galangal powder
- 3 shallots peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp of sweet soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- Salt to taste
Preheat about 1 Tbsp of cooking oil in a medium saucepan, add in garlic and shallots and stir fry for about 1 minute. Add in coriander powder, galangal powder, salt , sweet soy sauce, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Place the cut tofu inside the pan, cover with just enough water. Bring to a boil and then lower to let it gently simmer until the water evaporates half and then turn the tofu over and boil until the water is almost all evaporated and the spices are absorbed
Remove from the pot and let them cool down. Preheat oil and pan fried the tofu on all sides until golden to dark brown before serving and serve with chili if you like