This dish is one of the authentic Indonesian cuisine. It might not be as famous as rendang (spicy meat dish in coconut milk), satay, nasi goreng or fried rice, or even gado gado or Indonesian vegetable salad in peanut sauce, but still, this dish is very well know in East Java and Central Java. This is actually a crispy tofu omelette, but we add raw or boiled vegetables on top of it, and then we pour a generous amount of peanut sauce on the plate………………….and it is so delicious and healthy at the same time.
There are two versions of this dish, one comes from Semarang (a capital city of Central Java and also the place where I was born), and the other version is from Surabaya (a capital city of East Java and also the birth place of my husband). Both dishes may look the same, but there is one thing that differentiate them. The dish from Central Java add black shrimp paste or very well known as petis when making the sauce.
Oh, I love black shrimp paste to be eaten with fried tofu by the way. This was one of my favorite snack when I was a little girl and still went to Semarang quite often to visit my late grandmother. And I haven’t eaten this for such a long time and I miss it a lot. It’s very difficult to find a good seller of black shrimp paste that I used to eat in Semarang, the one that was sold at the wet market of by the street vendors were the best. My family would never want to buy this black shrimp paste from the supermarket, we would always look for the homemade ones.
Ok, let’s go back to the dish that I’ve been talking about. The omelette and the vegetables are just the same, but it is the sauce that binds them together. It is the sauce that makes the difference in the overall taste. The sauce has to be good and perfect. If not, that it will be useless.
Since my husband and I came from Java area, we both love this dish. It is the dish that accompanied us when we grew up. This dish reminds us of our younger years when we hadn’t meet each other. So being able to make this dish far away from our hometown and enjoy it here was priceless. Best of all, my husband loved it so much. He is always a big fan of Indonesian dishes and he likes them better than Chinese or Western dishes. So he is always happy whenever I make something traditional or authentic Indonesian dishes. Thus, he was so happy when I made this dish and he thought that I bought the sauce because he didn’t think I was able to make it myself………………..oh hello…………….where would I buy the sauce here?
Well, it’s easy to make everything now, right? You just have to google it, hahaha………………..your skill of googling is sometimes more important than your cooking skill.
Well anyway, this dish got 2 thumbs up from my husband and because he liked it so much, I was only able to eat a little while my husband ate twice (in huge amount). My son only ate the tofu omelette, he is still not able to eat raw vegetables or boiled vegetables (my biggest homework…………………..). He is also not a big fan of peanut sauce.
Although the sauce of this dish might resemble gado gado or Indonesian vegetable salad with peanut sauce, but the way we make the sauce is actually different. I will post about gado gado some other time to show the difference.
This recipe is for 4 portions
Making the sauce:
- 5 garlic, peel and crush lightly with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand
- 150 raw peanuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp liquid palm sugar (gula jawa) or 2 tbsp palm sugar block melted with 3 tbsp room temperature water
- 5 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 75 ml of water (or more depending on the thickness of the sauce that you want)
- Lime juice from 3 small limes
- If you like it spicy, add 3 red and 3 green chili padi
- Stir fry peanuts with 1 tbsp of oil until they are fragrant and slightly darker in color. Try to taste it to make sure they are thoroughly cooked
- Pan fry garlic with 1/2 tsp of oil until light brown
- Place peanuts, garlic, chili, and salt in a food processor and process until they are finely chopped
- Transfer the paste to a bowl
- Add liquid palm sugar, sweet soy sauce, water, and lime juice to the bowl. Stir to mix all the ingredients. If the sauce is too thick, add more water. I like the sauce to be not so thick, so I added another 50 ml of water into the bowl. Feel free to add more if you want. There is no exact consistency of how thick the sauce should be, it depends on your own preference
Cooking the tofu omelette:
Ingredients per portion:
- 150 gr white firm tofu, cut into 0.5 x o.5 cm
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Cooking oil
- In a 28 cm non stick pan, heat up oil (the amount of oil will be depending on your preference. For crispy omelette, add more oil to deep fry the tofu and then egg. For healthier option, just add oil until it covers the bottom of the pan)
- Add cut tofu to the pan. Stir and fry until the color turns to light brown
- Pour the beaten egg in the middle of the pan
- Then tilt the pan so the eggs coat the entire tofu
- Fry until the bottom of the egg is golden brown, then flip the egg and fry the other side until golden brown
- Transfer to a serving plate
How to Serve
- cucumber, cut into 0.5 x o.5 cm
- iceberg lettuce or cabbage, cut into bite size
- bean sprout, cook in boil water for 1 minute, then strain
- minced spring onion
- ready to use (store bought) fried shallots
Serving the dish:
- Place the desire amount of vegetables (cucumber, bean sprout, cabbage, iceberg lettuce) on top of the tofu omelette
- Pour the sauce to cover the vegetables and the omelette
- Add a generous amount of minced spring onion and fried shallots on top of the sauce
- Serve the dish and enjoy it immediately as an appetizer or snack in between meals or even as lunch or dinner