Monday, 7 January 2008

WHB # 115: Fried Tofu with Sweet Soy Dressing

Limau Kasturi (Kalamansi)

Tahu Goreng is a simple but delicous dish. Use the freshest tofu you can find. It's eaten as a side dish or a light lunch. I wonder if I can convince my meat-man Quikong to try this dish since he is not pro-tofu. I love tofu but the best part about this dish is definitely the dressing which is moreish because it has a wonderful tangy flavour with a hint of sweetness and garlic, as well as some heat from the chillies.

Limau kasturi or kalamansi (Citrus microcarpa) adds something special to the dressing because of its citrusy frangrance that is both sweet and sour at the same time and quite distinct from lemons and other types of limes. The kalamansi is small (2-3 cm in diameter) and the peel is green, yellowish green or yellow in colour. It contains quite a lot of seeds and it has an orange-yellowish flesh. The juice is sour and adds a piquant flavour to dishes. In Singapore, halved kalamansi is served with dishes such as fried noodles and squeezed over just before one tucks into the meal. The juice is also commonly made into a freshing drink.
This will be my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging #115. This week's host is Vani from Batasari.

Tahu Goreng

Fresh firm Tofu
Vegetable oil for frying
Bean sprouts, root removed, rinsed with hot water & drained immediately
Cucumber, sliced thickly

kecap manis ABC (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
tamarind juice
freshly squeezed kalamansi juice*
garlic, crushed
bird's eye chilli, chopped very finely
roasted peanuts, chopped roughly

Prepare the dressing: Mix all (except for peanuts) of the ingredients together. Taste and adjust the balance (i.e. sweet/sour) of the sauce according to your preference. (* subtitute with fresh lime juice if kalamansi is unavailable.)

Pat dry the tofu and fry it in oil till it is golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Slice it into cubes and transfer it into a bowl. Place some beansporuts and cucumber on the tofu. Drizzle the dressing over the tofu and scatter peanuts on top. Serve immediately.

Tip: The dressing can be used over several days. It also makes a wonderful dipping sauce for dim sum, fried calamari, spring rolls or as a salad dressing. You can also add the peanuts into the dressing and it becomes a thick sauce but I chose to have them seperately so that the peanuts can remain crunchy if I am using the dressing over several days.


Kevin said...

Limau kasturi sound pretty interesting. The tofu dish looks really good! I like the peanuts on top. I will have to see if I can find a source of fresh tofu around here.

Brilynn said...

Beautiful pics, this sounds delightful!

Lydia said...

This is great and perfectly timed -- I just pulled a bottle of kecap manis out of the pantry this afternoon, and have been contemplating what to make with it!

Greg said...

I love tofu and this dish look fantastic. I've never seen that citrus before. I think I will learn a lot from your blog. Just found it. I'll make sure to add you to my blog roll.

Shayne said...

All these new flavors you described has really peeked my curiosity. I hope that some day I have an opportunity to try this.

Toni said...

Those limes sound terrific! Don't think we can get them here, but I can check out the Asian supermarkets.

tigerfish said...

I like Tofu Goreng and used to those with peanut dressing. Bbut I prefer my bean sprouts to be blanched or slightly cooked/boiled.

Truffle said...

I just adore the flavours in this. The sort of thing I'd make all the time! Can't wait to try it and what beautiful photos!

Bellini Valli said...

The dressing sounds like the perfect foile for all those tofu-snubbers out there. As you said it also makes a great dip Nora!!

Big Boys Oven said...

heheheh another way i would eat the fried tofu, (don't laugh eh!) flood the fried tofu dish with loads of leftover satay sauce from the satayman!

winedeb said...

What a beautiful healthy looking and sounding dish. Have never heard of limau kasturi but will surely use our key limes for a substitute. I have a non-tofu guy at home also, but when he travels for business, I will be using this recipe for me!

Warda said...

This sounds amazing Nora. I have a question though. What do you mean by huying the freshest tofu? The one I find here are sold prepacked in plastic wrapers. How do I know if they are fresh or not? And what's the difference between soft and firm?

Aimée said...

My mouth is watering just reading your recipe! Tamarind...lime...garlic! Sounds like a flavor explosion!

Nora B. said...

Kevin, unfortunately I don't think I've ever seen limau kasturi outside of southeast asia.

Brilynn, thank you.

Lydia, I couldn't find a post for kecap manis on your blog, otherwise I would have tagged to my post. You've got so many cool stuff in your pantry.

Greg, thanks and welcome. You came at the right time to learn new stuff because I'm learning too while I am back in Singapore for two weeks.

Shayne - Thanks. And I hope that you'll get try some of these flavours some day.

Toni, I wish I can find them in Sydney, but no such luck.

Tigerfish, yes, the beansprouts are commonly blanched, but I prefer mine more crunchy.

Truffle, thanks!

Valli, yes and someday I will convert my meat man :-)

BBOven, great idea!

Deb, the things we do when our meat-man are not around.. ;-)

Warda, thanks for your question:
Tofu in Singapore/Japan/Australia is available in a few forms - most commonly: firm, silken (soft) and tube (it's also soft and also comes in regular and egg added). I mentioned firm because it's easier to fry. The silken types can be used in Japanese deep fried tofu called "agadeshi tofu" which is also a fav of mine.

I mentioned fresh because in Singapore we can find really fresh ones from the "wet" market than have to be used withing 2-3 days. I've not tried frying the packaged ones like the ones you probably get at your supermarket, but I imagine that it should be fine so long as the tofu is not too dense. Some brands of packed tofu in Sydney are quite dense and I shopped around before I found one I liked. Hope that helps

sugarlaws said...

that sounds so great -- yum!

Kalyn said...

This sounds really interesting and delicious. I noticed that Gay mentioned calamansi (did I spell it right?) and now you have written about it too. I love learning about these new things.