This is a recipe for a popular Indonesian snack sold by street-side vendors. The stuffed, battered and deep-fried tofu puffs are served with red hot chillies and black tea or beer to help tame the heat.
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 3 French shallots, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 150 g beef or pork mince
- 1 carrot, grated
- 50 g bean sprouts, chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp kecap manis (see Note)
- salt and pepper
- 18 (300 g) fried tofu puffs (see Note)
- vegetable oil, to deep fry
- small red chillies, to serve
- 250 g (1⅔ cup) plain flour
- 50 g (⅓ cup) rice flour
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- salt and pepper
- 410 ml (1⅔ cup) water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mince and cook, stirring and breaking up the lumps with a wooden spoon, for 2–3 minutes until the mince starts to change colour. Add the carrot, cook for 1 minute, then add the bean sprouts and spring onion. Cook for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute until just softened. Stir through the kecap manis, season to taste and remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Whisk the batter ingredients together until smooth and set aside.
Slice one side of a tofu puff open and scoop out the centre taking care to not break through to the other side. Stuff the tofu puff with a little filling and set aside. Repeat with the remaining tofu and filling.
Heat 10 cm of vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 190°C. Dip the filled tofu puffs in batter then carefully drop into the hot oil. Deep-fry in batches for 3–4 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel and serve immediately with chillies.
• Kecap manis and fried tofu puffs are available from Asian grocers.
Photography by Alan Benson