Spring Flowers and Bees

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Homely Dish: East Javanese Tahu Telor with Peanut Sauce

Homemade Tahu Telor

Memories get the best of me. You will see me lingering on this topic for the next couple of posts :)

As a foreign student in a foreign country, it struck me as natural when I crave traditional dishes originated in my hometown, Surabaya. As the second biggest city in Indonesia, Surabaya is the center of most activities in East Java. Including the so-called traditional street foods. It is very usual to see food carts carried around your neighbourhood back home. You can get a variety of foods from appetizing rujak (Indonesian type of salad with thick peanut or shrimp paste sauce) to pipping hot meatball soup.

One of my favourite street dishes is called "tahu telor". It can be literally translated into English as "omelette with tofu", but this translation does not suffice. You've got to TRY it yourself! This tahu telor dish is nicely accompanied with savoury peanut sauce and a side dish of boiled bean sprouts. You'll find out how easy to prepare it in a minute!

Before that, I want to tell you which tahu telor seller is my favorite. It all began when we were travelling to the mountainous part of East Java, Batu, Malang. We had a really good time in our resort and when dinner time came, my dad would drive our car and head out for some local dishes. There was (and still is, I hope!) a renowned tahu telor seller somewhere at the downtown of Malang where other small restaurants (a.k.a "warung" or "depot") are located. Surprisingly enough, this movable tahu telor cart own by a middle-aged woman, has such an obscure location, in between small restaurants. In other words, it's operating on a very small street where only pedestrians can fit. Nonetheless, even the mayor of Malang would drop by there when it comes to tahu telor :)

This particular tahu telor has a very tasty peanut sauce that I can't quite immitate. The fluffy omelette is made fresh on order. The way she prepares it, has something special too. All the more after I heard from my dad that the tahu telor seller was normally the husband of the woman. After the death of her husband, she continues his legacy and makes it even more famous. This meagre activity is also her family's source of income. The sincerity and passion of the cook surely reflects on the food s/he prepares.

Thanks to my very knowledgable dad, I had the chance, not once but twice, to try this superb tahu telor! You will be surprised how simple this can be prepared at your very kitchen. In order for you to try, I have included a recipe adapted from Dapur Mbakyu (literally translated as "The Lady's Kitchen") that has been tried and proven to be a favourite (especially by Mr. W). The original recipe suggested petis udang (dried shrimp paste), but not being a fan of petis, I omitted it. Besides, I don't have it handy in the kitchen.

Tahu Telor with Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce
150 gr roasted unsalted peanuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 T dark brown sugar
3 T sweet soya sauce plus to taste
juice from half of lime
water, add enough until you get the right consistency
salt, to taste

01. Saute garlic and cloves in a little oil until they are soft, not browned.
02. Combine all of the ingredients except the water into a food processor or blender. Add a little bit of water, around 1 cup. Puree until smooth. You would want to adjust the consistency by adding water until you get a slightly thin but not watery sauce. Kind of like the consistency of a caesar salad dressing. As you add water, you would want to maintain the taste by adding sweet soya sauce and a bit of salt.

Tahu Telor
1 to 2 eggs, beaten until bubbly
salt and white pepper, to taste
1 to 2 slices of firm white tofu, cubed
1 T olive oil*

01. Heat the oil, then pour the egg and tofu mixture.
02. Cook until the side is browned, then flip! (I can't do the flipping part perfectly)

Fluffy Omelette

03. Serve with steamed rice and parboiled bean sprouts on the side :)

Tahu Telor

*) This amount of oil is what makes the omelette fluff up :)

This is so yummy and brings back my thoughts to that adventurous holiday back home :)


Anonymous aeons said...


7:25 PM  
Blogger gattina said...

I don't have Indonesian food very often, not because I don't like it (on the contrary, I truely love it), just there are not many around.
Love your Tahu Telor, will try one day!

12:36 AM  
Blogger strawberry said...

Hi Gattina,
It's great to know that you like Indonesian food! Which one's your favorite?
Have you been to Indonesia?
I thought it was pretty easy to find Indonesian foods in S'pore. Perhaps if you go to M'sia you'll find similar foods :)

9:45 PM  
Blogger Typical INgredients said...

Hi Strawberry,

How are you doing?

You got my attention after reading your post about this remarkable story that touches my heart!

But well, I'm a big fan of "taho" or tofu and this dish is something that worth trying for and a BIG thanks to you for sharing the recipe and ideas of making it!

Good food and great story-sigh it's truly wonderful!

You take care and keep sharing...


2:35 PM  
Blogger strawberry said...

Hi Tin,

So glad to know you like my story :) And thanks for liking the idea for the recipe!

I'm doing fine over here! Now, I'll go visit your site :)

4:36 PM  
Blogger gattina said...

Hi strawberry,
I only tried indonesian food a few times in Hongkong, the restaurant I went located at an expat area, so really couldn't tell if the food was authentic enough. I liked most of the noodles, and a few grilled meat, basically anything saucey, looked yellow-ey and tasted coconut-ey. Sorry I'm totally hopeless in remembering foreign names :P
I lived in Sg less than two years, was overwhelmed with new job, new faces and new food. Didn't get any chance to taste real indonesian food (satay count?). I felt in love with malay food there.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous resep makanan said...

thanks very much , i like your post

review resep makanan

2:22 AM  

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