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From Tide to Table

Passport & Plate - Spicy Tofu Satay

Indonesia | Thursday, March 5, 2015 | 5 photos

Tofu Marinade
Satay Dipping Sauce
• 2 Tbsp peanut oil
• 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
• 1 tsp ea. ground coriander, ground cumin, ground ginger and chili flakes
• 1 stalk lemon grass, crushed
• ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
• 2 Tbsp ea. kecap manis, lemon juice, soy sauce,
• ½ cup coconut milk
• 5 cm stem lemon grass, finely chopped
• 5 cm stem ginger, peeled and grated
• 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
• 2 torch ginger petals, finely diced ( optional)
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1 tsp ea ground coriander, ground cumin
• ½ tsp ground turmeric


How to prepare this recipe
Tofu Marinade
1. Grind all marinade ingredients together in mortar with pestle or in an electric grinder..
2. Cut tofu into desired size- 2cm cubes (if skewering) or 5cm pieces, cover with marinade paste and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Sauté in ridged cast iron fry pan or on skewers over charcoal grill.
Satay Dipping Sauce
1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and stir fry the shallots, spices, and lemon grass until onion softened.
2. Stir in the peanut butter, sauces and juice and heat until simmering.
3. Stir in the coconut milk and stir until smooth and sauce thickens.
4. Remove lemongrass
Serving Suggestion
Serve tofu on skewers with dipping sauce alongside as a starter or serve tofu on a bed of steamed water spinach, topped with the satay sauce.


The story behind this recipe
The Tofu Grannies.
A cocophany of squeals from piglets being slaughtered stops me in my tracks. The sound emanates from beneath me. I slowly descend the ancient stairs to the wet market. I am greeted by frenzied headless chickens running amongst buckets of slivering eels. The smell of yesterday’s fish wafts through the haze of smoking ducks. In the space of minutes someone less passionate about food might become a vegetarian.
And if they did, then just a few steps away they would find excellent examples of vegetarian food. At the far end of the market, just past the fragrant blossoms being crafted into temple offerings, I come across The Tofu Grannies. For over forty years they have been coming to this market to sell their wares; tofu and tempeh. They laugh and chat. Regulars come to buy. The Tofu Grannies are known far and wide. I want to know them too and persuade them to let me join them in their factory; two rooms at the end of the garden.
Original thoughts of suckling pig, eel goreng and smoked duck gave way to Tofu Satay. A picture is said to tell a thousand words and these photographs taken with The Tofu Grannies do not do justice to the wonderful experience we shared. Whenever I eat tofu, no matter where in the world, I think back to my day with The Tofu Grannies. I can even hear them laughing as they produce a product for market, a product that has locals walking miles to buy. As they balance on a board above the muslin-enrobed curd they gyrate their hips and dance to squeeze out the whey.
A convert to the cause I now eat tofu goreng, tofu soup, or steamed tofu in woven baskets. I eat it plain, I eat it spiced but best of all I eat it marinated in local spices; pierced on a bamboo stick, barbecued above coconut coals and served with a spicy satay sauce.
Enak Sekali- very delicious

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