Are you in search of a delicious and budget-friendly meal? Look no further than our mouthwatering Tahu Gejrot recipe! In just 30 minutes, you can whip up this Indonesian culinary gem!
Tahu Gejrot is a delightful vegan-friendly street food dish made with puffed tofu in sweet chili sauce. It won't keep you tied up in the kitchen for hours and it is not only delicious but also keeps your wallet happy at just $2.50 per serving.
Now, let's dive right in and discover how to make tahu gejrot. Our recipe will have you coming back for more!
🤔 What is Tahu Gejrot?
Tahu Gejrot is a popular Indonesian street food dish. While there can be regional variations in terms of spiciness or specific ingredients, the core elements of Tahu Gejrot typically include fried puffed tofu and a flavorful spicy sauce made from ingredients like palm sugar, sweet soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, shallots, and bird's eye chilies.
The tofu is typically deep-fried until it's golden and crunchy. It is then soaked in the sweet and spicy sauce. The result is a delightful combination of textures and flavors.
Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with a balance of sweetness, spiciness, and tanginess in the sauce. People in Indonesia enjoy Tahu Gejrot mostly as a snack or side dish.
To make tahu gejrot at home you need the following ingredients:
- Puffed Tofu (tau pong): Use our puffed tofu recipe to make it from scratch or buy it from the store. Find puffed tofu at online retailers and in Asian grocery stores. Look in the refrigerated or tofu section of the store. You may find it packaged and labeled as "puffed tofu" or "tau pong."
- Palm Sugar (or brown sugar): Provides the sweetness that balances the other savory and spicy elements in the dish. Use brown sugar as an alternative when palm sugar is not available for you
- Sweet Soy Sauce (kecap manis): Kecap manis is a sweet and thick soy sauce. It adds a rich sweetness and a glossy finish to the dish.
- Vinegar (white vinegar): Vinegar provides acidity to counterbalance the sweetness of palm sugar and sweet soy sauce. It adds a tangy kick to the sauce, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
- Garlic and Shallots: Minced garlic and shallots are aromatic elements that contribute depth and complexity to the sauce. They infuse a savory and pungent flavor into the dish.
- Bird's Eye Chilies: These chilies bring the heat to Tahu Gejrot. The spiciness of the chilies adds excitement and heat to the sauce. Adjust the quantity to suit your preferred level of spiciness.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Are you looking for substitutions or quicker alternatives to make sweet chili tofu? Here is a list of possible substitutions:
- Palm Sugar: Substitute it with brown sugar. Other options are white sugar or even agave syrup.
- Sweet Soy Sauce (kecap manis): If you can't find kecap manis, you can make a substitute by mixing regular soy sauce with brown sugar or molasses in equal parts. This will mimic the sweetness and thickness of kecap manis.
- Vinegar: Use other types of vinegar like apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar, if needed. Each will impart a slightly different flavor, so adjust to your preference.
- Garlic and Shallots: If you don't have fresh garlic or shallots, use garlic powder and onion powder. However, fresh minced garlic and shallots provide a more robust flavor and texture experience.
- Bird's Eye Chilies: Substitute bird's eye chilies with other spicy peppers that are available to you, such as red chilies or chili flakes, Thai chilies, serrano peppers, or jalapeños. Adjust the quantity based on your spice tolerance.
- Green Onion: Replace them with chopped cilantro, parsley, or chives for a fresh, herbal touch.
- Salt: If you need to reduce your salt intake, use a low-sodium soy sauce or skip the salt altogether. Keep in mind that the other ingredients may still contribute some sodium to the dish.
Remember, substitutions will bring their own unique flavors and texture to our tahu gejrot recipe. Enjoy exploring different variations and discovering your favorite twist on our recipe!
Traditional Tahu Gejrot typically follows a specific flavor profile that includes sweet, savory, spicy, and tangy elements. However, there are many regional and personal variations!
- Cirebonese Tahu Gejrot: In Cirebon, a coastal city in West Java, they often add a hint of tamarind juice to the sauce. This imparts a pleasant tanginess to the dish. Other variations include tamarind paste or water.
- Balinese Tahu Gejrot: In Bali, it's common to see a version of Tahu Gejrot that incorporates coconut milk into the sauce.
- Tofu Variations: Instead of deep-fried puffed tofu, try using tofu variations. Great options are firm tofu, tofu steak, smoked tofu, shredded tofu, silken tofu, or even tempeh.
- Fruit Infusion: Add a fruity element by incorporating diced pineapple, mango, or papaya into the sauce.
- Peanut Sauce: Drizzle a creamy peanut sauce over the Tahu Gejrot for a rich and nutty flavor.
- Vegetable Medley: Include a mix of blanched or stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, snap peas, and carrots.
- Salad: Transform Tahu Gejrot into a refreshing salad. Place the tofu and sauce on a bed of lettuce or mixed greens. Add cucumber, tomatoes, and bean sprouts for a more salad-like experience.
- Fusion Flavors: Experiment with fusion flavors. Add ingredients like sesame oil, thai basil, ginger, lemongrass, or Sriracha sauce to the sauce.
Feel free to mix and match these flavor variations and play with the recipe. Experimenting with different ingredients and flavors is part of the fun!
Did you whip up a fantastic variation? Don't forget to drop a comment at the bottom of the blog post! I'm all ears and absolutely thrilled to hear about your culinary adventures.
You need a cutting board and a knife for preparing your vegetables. If you're using palm sugar and it's in a solid block, you need a grater to grate it into smaller pieces.
To accurately measure the sweet soy sauce, vinegar, and other ingredients use measuring spoons. You also need a saucepan or small pot to prepare the sauce.
Find product links in the recipe card below.
👩🏽🍳 How To Make Tahu Gejrot?
Let's chat about how to make the best tahu gejrot aka sweet chili tofu from scratch! Follow our step-by-step guide:
1. Start by preparing your puffed tofu. Follow our puffed tofu recipe to make it from scratch or the package instructions when using store-bought puffed tofu.
2. Next,in a bowl, combine the grated or chopped palm sugar, sweet soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well until the palm sugar is dissolved.
3. Add minced garlic, minced shallots, sliced bird's eye chilies, and a pinch of salt to the dressing. Whisk thoroughly to combine and season to taste.
4. Place the puffed tofu in a bowl or on a plate. Pour the dressing over the puffed tofu, or toss it into the bowl with the sauce to coat. Garnish with additional sliced bird's eye chilies if you prefer more spiciness and green onion.
Optional step: Before coating the tofu in the sweet chili sauce. Add it to a saucepan or small pot and bring the sauce to a boil. Then immediately take it off the heat once boiling. The sauce should stay runny, and not become very thick.
Tahu Gejrot is typically enjoyed as a flavorful and spicy snack or side dish. The combination of crispy fried tofu with the sweet, tangy, and spicy dressing creates a delightful balance of flavors. Remember that you can adjust the level of spiciness and sweetness according to your taste preferences.
✨ Sprinkle's Expert Tips
- Taste the sauce as you go. Adjust the levels of sweetness, spiciness, and tanginess to achieve the perfect balance for your palate. Add a bit more sugar if it's too tangy, more chilies if you want it spicier, or more vinegar if it's too sweet.
- Allow the sauce to cool in the fridge for a little while before pouring it over the tofu. A chilled sauce adds a refreshing contrast to the warm tofu.
- If you have general questions about tofu make sure to check out our tofu guide for more tips and tricks!
- Use green onions and cilantro for garnish. However, use them sparingly to enhance the presentation without overpowering the dish's flavors.
🍝 Serving Ideas
Serve tahu gejrot in various ways! Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Side Dish: In Indonesia, Tahu Gejrot is often served as a side dish. It is a popular side dish for dishes such as Nasi Campur, and Nasi Goreng. Place a portion of Tahu Gejrot next to steamed rice. Enjoy with other Indonesian sides like vegan satay, and vegetables.
- Appetizer Platter: Include Tahu Gejrot as part of an appetizer platter for a larger Indonesian-style meal. Pair it with dishes like Gado-Gado (Indonesian salad with peanut sauce), sayur lodeh (vegetable stew), pisang goreng (fried banana), and Perkedel (potato fritters) for a diverse and flavorful spread.
- Tacos: Take a fusion approach by using Tahu Gejrot as a filling for soft tacos. Wrap the tofu and sauce in small tortillas. Add fresh veggies like shredded cabbage, sliced cucumbers, and bean sprouts for a fun and flavorful twist.
- Bowl of Noodles: Transform Tahu Gejrot into a noodle bowl by serving it over cooked rice noodles or soba noodles. Add some blanched or stir-fried vegetables, and crushed peanuts for a satisfying meal.
- Nasi Uduk: Offer Tahu Gejrot as part of a Nasi Uduk meal. It is a Javanese dish of fragrant coconut rice served with an assortment of side dishes. It's a flavorful and filling combination.
- Rice Cake (Lontong): Pair Tahu Gejrot with lontong, which are compressed rice cakes. The rice cakes soak up the flavorful sauce, creating a delicious combination of textures and flavors.
Serve your tahu gejrot warm and fresh for the best experience. Enjoy these serving ideas to elevate your meal!
💭 Recipe FAQ
The time it takes to deep fry tofu can vary depending on the size of the tofu pieces and the temperature of the oil. Usually, it takes between 5-12 minutes.
Yes, you can often find puffed or fried tofu in Asian grocery stores. You usually find it in the refrigerated or frozen section. Sometimes it is referred to as tofu puffs or tofu skins. They are available in various shapes and sizes, and some may already be pre-seasoned or marinated. Some online retailers sell them too!
If you want to make it yourself with firm or extra-firm tofu, follow our puffed tofu recipe!
Yes, Tahu Gejrot is fried tofu in chili sauce and therefore typically spicy. The spiciness in Tahu Gejrot comes from the bird's eye chilies in the sauce. The number of chilies added can vary according to personal preference, but Tahu Gejrot is known for its spicy kick. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the number of chilies or their seeds.
You can make Tahu Gejrot less spicy for kids by reducing or omitting the bird's eye chilies.
Tahu Gejrot can be a part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. While tofu is a good source of protein and minerals, the deep-frying process and the use of palm sugar in the sauce increases its calorie and sugar content. To make it healthier, consider shallow pan-frying the tofu. Control the amount of sauce used.
🥣 Storage & Reheating Instructions
Refrigeration: Place the leftover Tahu Gejrot in an airtight container and store it in your fridge. It's important to refrigerate it promptly, ideally within two hours of preparation.
If possible, store the sauce separately from the fried tofu to prevent the tofu from becoming too soggy. You can store the sauce in a sealed container and the tofu in another.
Tahu Gejrot can typically be kept fresh in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. However, it's essential to use your judgment and consider factors like the freshness of the tofu and sauce ingredients.
Freezing: Tahu Gejrot is best enjoyed fresh, and freezing may affect its texture and taste, particularly regarding the tofu. If you choose to freeze it, store the tofu and sauce separately in airtight containers.
Consume within 1-2 months. To use the frozen Tahu Gejrot, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating and serving.
Reheating Tahu Gejrot
To reheat the tofu and restore some of its crispiness, you can place it in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until it's warmed through and crispy again.
The sauce can be gently reheated in a saucepan on the stovetop over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until it's warmed. You can add a little water if the sauce has thickened during refrigeration. Once both the tofu and sauce are reheated, combine them for serving.
🌱 More Tofu Recipes You'll Love
Tahu Gejrot - Sweet Chili Tofu
- 400 g puffed tofu (thau pong)
Sweet Chili Sauce
- 75 grams grated palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 shallots minced
- 3-4 bird's eye chilies sliced (adjust to taste)
- salt to taste
- green onion sliced, for garnish
- Start by preparing your puffed tofu. Follow our puffed tofu recipe to make it from scratch or the package instructions when using store-bought puffed tofu.
- Next, in a bowl, combine the grated or chopped palm sugar, sweet soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well until the palm sugar is dissolved.
- Add minced garlic, minced shallots, sliced bird's eye chilies, and a pinch of salt to the dressing. Whisk thoroughly to combine and season to taste.
- Place the puffed tofu in a bowl or on a plate.
- Optional step: Before coating the tofu in the sweet chili sauce. Add it to a saucepan or small pot and bring the sauce to a boil. Then immediately take it off the heat once boiling. The sauce should stay runny, and not become very thick. The sauce tastes good both cooked, as well as cold. If you want to warm it up really depends on your preference!
- Pour the sauce over the puffed tofu, or toss it into the bowl with the sauce to coat. Garnish with additional sliced bird's eye chilies if you prefer more spiciness and green onion
- Enjoy right away as pleased! Tahu Gejrot is typically enjoyed as a flavorful and spicy snack or side dish.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For food safety see guidelines at USDA.gov.