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Tahu Kecap Kudus - Fried Tofu in Sweet Soy Sauce

Indonesian tofu dishes are never bland. Try pairing pan-fried tofu with a bold and savory sauce using kecap manis, terasi, and chilies for an umami-rich tofu dish.
Tahu Kecap Kudus - Fried Tofu in Sweet Soy Sauce.

Tahu Kecap Kudus - Fried Tofu in Sweet Soy Sauce.

Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) is an indispensable soy sauce in Indonesian cuisine. We use in many of our recipes, such as semur ayam, tempeh kecap, ayam kecap, lapis daging, and sambal tomat kecap.

Today I am going to share a recipe for tahu kecap Kudus (fried tofu in sweet soy sauce). We will need kecap manis as one of the main ingredients to prepare its sauce.

Ingredients for tahu kecap Kudus (fried tofu in sweet soy sauce): fried tofu cubes, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), chicken stock, garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, terasi (shrimp paste), and daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves).

Ingredients for tahu kecap Kudus (fried tofu in sweet soy sauce): fried tofu cubes, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), chicken stock, garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, terasi (shrimp paste), and daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves).

Ingredients for tahu kecap kudus

1. Firm/extra-firm tofu

First, you will need two blocks of firm/extra-firm tofu, each weighing 450 grams (1 lb). Alternatively, you can also use fried tofu cubes if your supermarket sells them.

2. Kecap manis

Kecap manis is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. The color is that of soy sauce, but the consistency is much thicker and almost honey-like in viscosity.

Many Indonesian recipes rely on kecap manis. If you love cooking Indonesian recipes at home, I highly recommend stocking your pantry with a bottle or two of kecap manis.

If you need a substitute, you can try mixing 50% soy sauce with 50% coconut palm sugar. For example, replace a tablespoon of kecap manis with 12 tablespoon soy sauce and 12 tablespoon coconut palm sugar.

3. Water/chicken stock

If you love a richer and more savory dish, I highly recommend using chicken stock or vegetable stock.

4. Aromatics, spices, and herbs

We will need garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, terasi (shrimp paste), and daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves).

If this is your first time working with terasi/shrimp paste, you can read more about it from my post on kangkung tumis terasi and sambal terasi.

(1) Grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and toasted terasi into a smooth paste. (2) Sauté spice paste and daun salam until fragrant. (3) Add kecap manis and chicken stock. (4) Add fried tofu cubes.

(1) Grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and toasted terasi into a smooth paste. (2) Sauté spice paste and daun salam until fragrant. (3) Add kecap manis and chicken stock. (4) Add fried tofu cubes.

How to cook the tofu dish

1. Fry tofu

Drain the tofu blocks well, then cut each block into eight pieces and pan-fry over medium heat with a little bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet until golden brown.

Set aside to cool, then cut each fried tofu cube into two pieces. You will get a total of thirty-two pieces of fried tofu cubes.

2. Grind spice paste

Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and toasted shrimp paste into a smooth paste.

3. Cook the sauce

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Sauté spice paste and Indonesian for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add sweet soy sauce and chicken stock/water, mix well and cook until boiling.

4. Add tofu

Add fried tofu cubes into the wok, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook without a lid until the sauce is reduced and thick. Stir frequently towards the end until the sauce glazes the tofu.

5. Serve

Transfer the dish to a serving plate and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Cook until the sauce is fully absorbed by the tofu and glaze the tofu cubes. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate to serve.

Cook until the sauce is fully absorbed by the tofu and glaze the tofu cubes. Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate to serve.

Other Indonesian tofu dishes to try

There are so many Indonesian tofu dishes to choose from, and we are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to tofu.

Aside from tahu kecap kudus, you can try cooking some of our tofu dishes such as:

Tahu Kecap Kudus - Fried Tofu in Sweet Soy Sauce

5.0 from 5 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 block (each 450 gram/1 lb) firm/extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 daun salam (Indonesian bay leaves)
  • 500 ml (2 cup) chicken stock/water
  • 3 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 100 gram (3.5 oz) shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 3 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 5-10 red chilies such as bird-eye, cayenne, or Fresno
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe)
  • 1 inch galangal (Indonesian: lengkuas)
  • 1 teaspoon terasi (shrimp paste), toasted (Note 1)

Instructions

  1. Fry tofu: Drain the tofu blocks well, then cut each block into eight pieces and pan-fry over medium heat with a little bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet until golden brown.
  2. Set aside to cool, then cut each fried tofu cube into two pieces. You will get a total of thirty-two pieces of fried tofu cubes.
  3. Grind spice paste: Use a food processor or a mortar and pestle to grind garlic, shallot, red chilies, ginger, galangal, and toasted shrimp paste into a smooth paste.
  4. Cook the sauce: Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium heat. Sauté spice paste and Indonesian for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant. Add sweet soy sauce and chicken stock/water, mix well and cook until boiling.
  5. Add tofu: Add fried tofu cubes into the wok, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook without a lid until the sauce is reduced and thick. Stir frequently towards the end until the sauce glazes the tofu.
  6. Serve: Transfer the dish to a serving plate and serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Notes

  • (1) Toaste shrimp paste/terasi in a microwave for 30 seconds, or in a frying pan without any oil until pale, fragrant, and crumbly.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Paul Paul says:

    What on earth does "2 block" actually mean? Could literally be anything so it throws the recipe into chaos.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Sorry for the confusion. 1 block of tofu is about 16 oz/450 gram. Will update the recipe :)

  • Annissa Annissa says:

    Wow! This looks like an amazing use of tofu! I am drooling all over my keyboard. I can't wait to try it.

  • Julia Julia says:

    It was excellent! I couldn't believe how tasty tofu can be:) Brilliant recipe Anita!

  • Alexandra Alexandra says:

    So delicious - my current favourite way of enjoying tofu. So full of flavour!

  • Jere Cassidy Jere Cassidy says:

    I alway like finding some good tofu recipe to try and the sauce looks full of great flavors. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  • Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says:

    I never know how to cook tofu, and now I think I need to cook it this way. This looks amazing, I am going to have to cook it this way! Thanks for the recipe :)

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