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Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

Bumbu Bali is a delicious, sweet, savory, and spicy sauce with a huge umami flavor all around. This amazing sauce turns bland tofu into something magical.
Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

My husband is a big fan of tofu dishes, and he gets cranky if I don’t cook tofu at least once a week. This means I am always searching for good recipes to prepare tofu so he doesn’t get bored with just eating fried tofu. Though, judging from his eating pattern, he doesn’t mind if he has to eat fried tofu every single day.

Anyway, here is my recipe for tahu goreng bumbu Bali - Balinese sauce fried tofu. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

How To Fry Tofu

I may be one of the weird people who actually like to fry my own tofu at home. It’s pretty straight forward.

First, drain the tofu.

I start by draining and wrapping my firm tofu block(s) with paper kitchen towel, and sandwich between two plates.

Then I add my heavy cast-iron skillet on top of the top plate to press the tofu.

After 30 minutes, there should be noticeably plenty of liquid pool around the tofu. Simply drain the liquid, unwrap the tofu, and cut into cubes.

Next, fry the tofu.

The next step is frying the tofu. Heat about one inch of oil in a frying pan.

Once the oil is hot, sprinkle tofu with salt and pepper, coat with all-purpose flour, and fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

Bumbu Bali (Balinese Sauce)

Despite its name, bumbu Bali actually originates from East Java and not from the island of Bali. This is a pretty popular sauce in Indonesia and the most famous dish prepared with this sauce is telur bumbu Bali.

But if you are like me, once you taste this sauce, you will want to pair it with so many other dishes, especially fried items such as fried tofu, fried tempeh, fried chicken, etc.

Tahu Goreng Bumbu Bali - Balinese Sauce Fried Tofu

5.0 from 8 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 3 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind liquid (1 tablespoon water + 1 teaspoon tamarind (Indonesian: asam Jawa) )
  • 1 lemongrass (Indonesian: sereh), bruised and knotted
  • 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 1 block of firm tofu, drained, pressed, season with salt & pepper, dust with flour and fry until golden brown
  • 2 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 8 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 8 red cayenne chili peppers (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted shrimp paste (Indonesian: terasi bakar)
  • 2 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 5 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté spice paste until fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add tamarind liquid, lemongrass, bay leaves, lime leaves, salt, and palm sugar. Mix well.
  3. Add fried tofu cubes, mix well, and cook until the liquid is thickened and slightly reduced.
  4. Add sweet soy sauce, mix well, and cook for another 1 minute.
  5. Turn off heat, discard the lemongrass, bay leaves, and kaffir lime leaves. Serve with steamed white rice.


  • (*) The total cooking time is if you prepare your own fried tofu. If you happen to buy fried tofu from market, the total cooking time will be reduced by half.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • The Book of Food The Book of Food says:

    Another great recipe, thank you for sharing !

  • Angela Allison Angela Allison says:

    Fried tofu is the best! Love this recipe. So many delicious flavors.

  • Pam Greer Pam Greer says:

    Thanks for all the tips on how to get such gorgeous, crispy tofu!! This is our favorite tofu recipe!

  • Anjali  Anjali says:

    Love the spice paste for this tofu recipe!! It turned out to be so flavorful!

  • Jeannette Jeannette says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is THE recipe! I love rendang, and having it with tofu is such an amazing idea! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Wow this tofu dish has so much flavor! We loved all the flavors of lemongrass and chili. The sauce was incredible and we'll be making this again!

  • Don Don says:

    Hi Anita, thank goodness I stumbled upon this amazing site of yours. I truly admire your works, thank you for making such a wonderful cooking and sharing it with us. Best regards for you and family from Jakarta. Stay safe and always be happy.

  • Nain Nain says:

    Love this recipe! Thank you.

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