An easy recipe to prepare mun tahu, a Chinese Indonesian braised silken tofu dish, with ground chicken, drenched in thick savory garlic ginger sauce.
Mun tahu is a classic Chinese Indonesian braised silken tofu dish, with ground chicken/pork/beef (or roughly chopped shrimp), drenched in thick savory garlic ginger sauce. This dish is what I make when I need to prepare something quick and I don’t want a lot of fuss, because I can be very happy with a bowl of rice and mun tahu. If you love tofu, you are going to love this dish. Or if you don’t love tofu, maybe this can be the dish to convince you otherwise.
A Chinese Indonesian Tofu Dish
Mun tahu literally means braised tofu, originally a Hakka Chinese dish, but is now widely enjoyed by many Indonesian. You can still order mun tahu from many old established Chinese restaurants in Jakarta.
Ground chicken and chopped shrimps are probably the two most popular choice of meat to go with mun tahu, though you can also order them with ground pork or ground beef.
I think of mun tahu as the non spicy version of mapo tofu. In fact, I would argue most Indonesians are more familiar with mun tahu compared to mapo tofu.
A bowl of silky tofu goodness
The star of mun tahu is definitely the tofu. Try to stick to silken variety if you can. It is now very easy to find tofu in my neighborhood groceries, though the grocery nearest to my house for some reason only stock extra firm variety.
For silken tofu, I am still forced to make a special trip to Asian market. But I found out that Amazon now carries Mori-Nu tofu, and the silken tofu from Mori-Nu is a no brainer for this dish.
Not having to stash my tofu in refrigerator is such a revelation, since I am definitely that lady who fills her shopping cart with a dozen blocks of tofu in one trip, and later have to sacrifice half a shelf in the fridge just for tofu.
Something extra in the broth
The next little secret to make a great mun tahu lies in the stock. It is true you can make an okay mun tahu with water, but if you use chicken stock, or even Japanese dashi stock if that’s what you have, you are going to have an amazing mun tahu.
I would say that even if all you have in your kitchen is some stock granules instead of the real deal, you should still go for it. Only in last resort should one prepare mun tahu with water.
Mun Tahu - Braised Tofu and Ground Chicken
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 4 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), minced
- 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
- 250 gram ground chicken
- 2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth (or Japanese dashi, or water)
- 1 block (340 gram) of silken tofu, cut into small cubes
- corn starch liquid (1 tablespoon corn starch + 2 tablespoon water)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- Heat oil in a frying pan/wok and sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant.
- Add ground chicken, stir and cook until no longer pink.
- Season with fish sauce, oyster sauce, ground white pepper, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
- Pour water, stir to mix well, and bring to a boil.
- Add tofu cubes and mix well. Once it boils again, thicken the sauce with corn starch liquid.
- Turn off heat, add the sliced scallions and sesame oil. Mix well, then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with steamed white rice.