Vegetable Stuffed Fried Tofu

Appetizer, Snack

 

Vegetable Stuffed Fried Tofu by Tiny Chili Pepper

(My version of Tahu Isi)

Here’s another Indonesia’s favorite snack: stuffed tofu! The idea is quite simple: fill up tofu (cubed fried tofu, light and airy inside. Sold at Asian groceries.) with cooked vegetables, dip them in thin batter of flour and spices, brown in a little bit of oil, and eat them with chili peppers! One of Jeff’s aunts made these scrumptious snack for us when we visited the family in Indonesia a while back. Oh la la…so delicious. If only delivery across the ocean weren’t an issue, we’d shamelessly request these stuffed tofu from her all the time.

Driven by this taste memory, Jeff and I made the snack ourselves the other day. As always, my guy made his neatly. He does a better job in food presentation than I do. I have yet to master the skill of not rushing in the kitchen.

Here are the things that we will need:

  • A bag of cubed fried tofu (sold at Asian groceries)

  • Crunchy vegetable medley, do a combo of two from these options: carrots/ bean sprouts/ broccoli stalk/cabbage (thinly cut)

  • 4 garlic (chopped)

  • Salt and pepper

  • Canola oil

  • 1 cup of water

  • 2 tablespoon of flour

  • Cayenne pepper powder

  • Thai chili peppers (sold at Asian groceries)

Veggies as the stuffing

Fried tofu in a bag

Stuffing the tofu

Dipped in batter

Browning the stuffed tofu

Steps:

  • Heat up a small pan, add a tablespoon of canola oil, and garlic. Let it cook for two minutes and then add vegetables, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3—5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Prepare the dip in a medium bowl: whisk water and flour, add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper powder. Mix well until it thickens a bit.

  • Make a small cut on one side of each tofu and stuff it with a little bit of vegetables. Dip it lightly in the batter and set aside. Repeat until all tofu and vegetables are used up.

  • Heat up a large pan and add a bit of canola oil (enough to brown).

  • Brown the stuffed tofu. (Since they are already cooked, all we want to do is just to cook them until they look golden.)

  • Let them cool down on a cooling rack. Place a plate underneath to catch excess oil.

  • Serve with chili peppers

Vegetable Stuffed Tofu ala Tiny Chili Pepper

 

Seafood Dumplings in Peanut Sauce

Appetizer, Seafood Recipes, Snack

 (My version of the Indonesian street food Siomay Bandung)

Siomay Bandung ala Tiny Chili PepperFood cravings drove me to be extra creative lately. Especially since the latest strong desire and taste I had were for authentic Indonesian dishes! Example number one, Siomay Bandung: steamed seafood dumplings drizzled with peanut sauce (Bandung is the city of origin of the dish) .

Back when I was little in Surabaya, the seller of siomay would pedal his bike, that had a small wooden box attached to the back to carry a steamer full of siomay and the sauces, all over the neighborhood in late afternoon. Street food hawkers, in my family’s neighborhood, seemed to have their own particular schedule: bakery and bread in the morning, fruit salad (rujak) in the afternoon, siomay and meatballs later in the afternoon, while satay, fried rice, fried noodle, would come at night. The siomay man would call out, “May, Siomay…” while sounding his bicycle horn over and over. I’d recognize that sound immediately and ran toward the terrace to call and stop him in front of our house. A big chunk of my childhood memories is filled with lots of good eats!

There are tons of recipes out there to create this dish from scratch. But I was far too hungry for it and couldn’t, wouldn’t, be patient enough to do so. Entered an idea, a simpler way to prepare Siomay Bandung with pleasing result.

Here’s how I do my version. We’ll need:

  • A dozen fish meat balls (frozen section, Asian grocery store)
  • A packet of shrimp dumplings (frozen section, Asian grocery store)
  • A dozen of fried tofu balls (vegetable section, Asian grocery store)
  • Three tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (Indonesian food product section, Asian grocery store)
  • Two tablespoon of chili sauce (Indonesian food product section, Asian grocery store)
  • ½ cup of peanut sauce with garlic, ginger, and lemongrass (Brand: House of Tsang , Bangkok Peanut Sauce, Dipping Sauce. Found at Kroger).
  • Juice from ½ of lime
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • A handful of frozen green beans

the sauces

 Steaming the good stuff

Steps:

  • Set steaming pan above the pot filled halfway with water. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat.
  • Place fish meat balls, shrimp dumplings, tofu balls, green beans on the steamer and drizzle them with canola oil.
  • Cover the pan and steam for about 8-10 minutes to thaw and warm up (they are precooked)
  • Cut them up to smaller pieces.
  • Mix all of the sauces and lime juice in a bowl.
  • Serve the pieces on a plate and drizzle with the sauce.

seafood dumplings, tofu, green beans in peanut sauce

Selamat Makan! (Enjoy your meal!)

Have a great weekend!