Tahu Isi Recipe

March 29, 2012

Deep fried stuffed tofu (Tahu isi) is a snack made from tofu stuffed with variants vegetables such cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts. This is another snack that most selling by the street food stall along with vegetable fritter also known as bala-bala, bakwan goreng and I've shared my vegetable fritters recipe in my previous post, you may check the recipe and the story out. 

To me, everything homemade is always better, we can control and demand to suit for our healthy lifestyle. The fact, to tell you the truth that to make Tahu isi is through a deep-fried process which perhaps you wish to avoid. Well, I can’t say much about it, because occasionally we also need to just enjoy it and do so wisely. 

Yet, Tahu isi has become a very popular snack among all Indonesian and it almost served with either fresh chilli or chilli sauce.

To make Tahu isi is very easy and of course it takes patience, the processes would includes frying the tofu, making the filling and stuffing the tofu, dipping into the batter and deep fried them. Some people acclaimed that the processes are quite tedious to make but most people are very pleased to make it at home.

I like my tahu isi has pure vegetarian stuffing, my favourite is always followed my mother recipe and  I have to admit the fact that for some people prefer stuffed with bee hoon/rice noodles (bihun) and carrot, its actually depending on each personal cravings. The only think that should keep in mind, if you making Tahu isi stuffed with variants vegetable, please do make sure having it fresh which mean you cant keep them or freeze them out for the tomorrow treat.

Deep-fried Stuffed tofu, Tahu isi
Yield 12 stuffed tofu


12 pieces firm tofu
Oil for deep frying

Spice paste:
5 garlic cloves
1 ½ teaspoon whole white pepper
Salt to taste

* Using mortar and pestle, process the spice into smooth paste
Divide the spice paste into an equal portion, set aside

1 cup flour
1 egg
2/3 cup ice water
1 teaspoon salt

Vegetables stuffing: 
1 heaping cup shredded cabbage
1 heaping cup bean sprouts
1 cup shredded carrot
4 stalks spring onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 ½ teaspoon sweet soy sauce, optional
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons water
salt to taste.

How to Make

Heat the oil in a wok, deep fried the tofu until browned on the both sides 
When they are completely cool to hold, 
use a knife or scissors-make a slit on the side of each tofu, 
scoop out the inner part to make a pouch to fill the stuffing, set aside.

Make the stuffing

Heat 2 tablespoons oil, take ½ part of spice paste, fry until fragrants.
Throw in shredded carrot, shredded cabbage, bean sprouts and spring onions. 

Do a quick stir-fry until the vegetables are just about wilted, 
add in 2 tablespoon water, sweet soy sauce,
season with white pepper powder and salt. 

Stir to combine and make sure that the seasoning completely cooked through. 
Have a taste and remove from the heat, transfer into a bowl and let it cool

Make the batter
In a mixing bowl, combine batter ingredients, flour, salt and ½ part of spice paste. 
Pour in the ice water to the mix slowly. 

Stir well the batter until smooth or until to thin batter consistency.
Add in egg and stir until the mixture well incorporated. Set aside.

To finished
Using a spoon, packed each tofu pouch with the vegetable stuffing. Repeat the remaining until all are done-set aside.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a wok. 
Dip the stuffed tofu in the batter until the tofu well coated, 
drop gently into the hot oil.
* fry about 3 tofu at one time, but it really depend on your deep fryer or wok size.

Fry until the tofu is golden brown and crispy. 
Drain on plate lined with paper towel 
Do the same to the remaining until all stuffed tofu are done

Serve immediately with fresh green chillies or served on it’s own.

Cook notes

 I use local tofu that available and easy to get at where I lived, 
it written tahu panjang (long tofu) 
the unique thing about the long tofu, it has a soft texture 
and in its interior highly porous due to moisture contains in the tofu, 
so it would naturally form to a pouch (hollow inside) when its deep fried. 
I found that this tofu is just perfect for making stuffed tofu (tahu isi) 

If you use regular firm tofu which doesn’t behave like my tofu, 
what you need to do is after it deep fried, 
scoop the flesh out (but not completely scooped out the entire flesh), 
crumble the tofu flesh using your fingers and 
mix with the vegetable stuffing so you would not waste it out. 

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