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Tumis Tahu & Zucchini - Tofu and Zucchini in Spicy Coconut Milk

Zucchini is in season and I couldn’t stop myself from buying a huge load of fresh looking ones home. This vegetable is not common in Indonesia, and whenever I buy zucchinis, I usually end up making Korean, or even western dishes. But this time, I experimented a bit and see what kind of Indonesian inspired recipes I could come up with. Comparing zucchini to the many vegetables commonly used in Indonesia, I think chayotte is probably pretty close, and it is pretty on the mark for this recipe where originally chayotte is used instead of zucchini.

Tumis Tahu & Zucchini - Tofu and Zucchini in Spicy Coconut Milk

This recipe is totally vegetarian, vegan even, so this is definitely perfect for my vegan/vegetarian readers. For everyone else, you can keep the recipe as is, or if you like, feel free to add some thinly sliced beef to satisfy your inner carnivore :)

Tumis Tahu & Zucchini - Tofu and Zucchini in Spicy Coconut Milk

Tumis Tahu & Zucchini - Tofu and Zucchini in Spicy Coconut Milk

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4


  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 Indonesian bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 400 gram zucchini, cut into bite size wedges
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar (Indonesian: gula Jawa)
  • 2 teaspoon salt (or 1 teaspoon salt + 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce for non vegetarian option)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 200 ml water (or chicken stock for non vegetarian option)
  • 400 gram firm tofu, cut into bite size cubes
  • 1 red fresno chili peppers (Indonesian: cabe merah besar), sliced diagonally
  • Grind the following into spice paste
  • 50 gram shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 red fresno chili peppers (Indonesian: cabe merah besar)
  • 2-4 red cayenne chili peppers (Indonesian: cabe merah keriting), optional
  • 4 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1 inch galangal


  1. Heat oil in a wok on medium high, sauté spice paste and bay leaves until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add zucchini, palm sugar, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Add coconut milk and water, bring to a boil on medium heat to prevent coconut milk from curdled. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tofu and sliced chilies. Once the sauce boils again, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.
  5. Turn off heat, transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot with steamed white rice.


  • Christina says:

    I thank you so much for your blog. I'm an American married to an Indonesian, and appreciate your easy-to-understand recipes. I can't figure out why most times I cook with coconut milk my dish has a sour taste. Such is the case here (it's me, not you). Perhaps too much galangal?

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Christina :) Hm... I really have no idea why the dish has a sour taste, even with galangal. But you can always try reducing the amount of galangal and see if that lessen the sourness.

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