This is my entry for Jugalbandi Click Food Photography Event. This month the theme is about cheese/tofu.
Tahu Bacem is sweet marinated fried tofu. The word "bacem" means that it is sweet and spicy. Tahu Bacem is a typical Indonesian delicacy and is given as an accompaniment to the rice meal, but can also be eaten as a savory snack. In place of tofu, you can also use tempeh. The preparation is the same.
The ingredients for the seasoning include gula jawa (Javanese palm sugar), salam leaves, tamarind pulp, shallots, garlic, galangal and ketumbar. Because the tofu firstly boiled in the ingredients then afterwards to be fried in the oil, it will give them nice, dark red-brown color.
Tahu Bacem would be just one dish in a meal. There would also be a couple vegetable dishes. The seasoning at the table would be a dish of sambal, any of a number of chili pastes.
10 thick slices of tofu
1 teaspoon tamarind pulp
300 gr grated palm sugar
500 ml water + 250 ml coconut milk
3 salam leaves
salt to taste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
5 shallots, thin slices
3 cloves garlic, thin slices
2 cm galangal
1. In a pan put all ingredients together including slices of tofu.
2. Cook the mixture until boiled then reduce the fire. Stir the mixture from to time to time and let boiled gently until the moisture evaporates. Remove from the pan, put aside.
3. To deep-fry, heat several inches of oil in a stable wok until hot. Using wire or slotted tool, slip the tofu, into the oil. You can fry several pieces at a time, depending on the size of your wok, but don't dump it all in at once. That will reduce the temperature of the oil and the tofu will absorb oil rather than fry in it. Fry until tofu becomes golden. You may need to adjust the heat a bit while cooking so tofu doesn't burn. Remove with wire or slotted tool and drain on paper towel.
To pan fry, heat about 1" of oil in a heavy skillet. Put several pieces of tofu in the pan and cook until golden. Again, adjust the heat to prevent burning. You will need to turn the tofu from time to time to assure even cooking on both sides. Drain on paper towel.