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Tauhu Sambal

tauhu sambal 2


There are many times when I prefer to eat non-meat meals at home. Inevitably it will be legumes. One such bean is the soya bean and when it is transformed to tauhu (beancurd) – it tastes wonderful.

Tauhu on its own is bland, it is nicer deep fried or added to curries and sambals.


tauhu sambal 1


The Chinese love their tauhu, so do the Malays, the Indians have their paneer (indian cheese) as the substitute but then tauhu is so readily available in the supermarkets and is also very economical.

Many people I know love tauhu sambal, it’s my family’s favourite too, hence this simple version. I have made it with very little oil. It is also a protein rich dish and can be eaten with my spinach pilaf, or just plain rice and chappati. The ground paste can be made ahead. It also freezes well.   Once you have the ground paste ready, you could make this dish in 15 to 20 minutes. So no excuse to say no time to cook!


spinach pilaf 2
Tauhu sambal, pictured with spinach pilaf (recipe for which is on the blog)




2 large tauhu, cut into 2 cm cubes and dried with a clean kitchen towel

Salt to taste

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp corn oil ( or any vegetable oil)

2 tbsp lime juice

For the paste: 

Grind to a paste the following ingredients, this is the basic paste for vegetarian sambal.

12 dried chillies, cut, soaked in water for a few minutes

3 red chillies

1 stalk lemongrass, use only the white end about 5 cm

2 large onions

2 cloves garlic

1 piece ginger slice

2 tomatoes



Grind the ingredients for the paste to a coarse paste.

Heat pan, add the oil and pan fry the tauhu cubes – about 3 minutes should be enough. Remove and keep aside ( you can use the air fryer and omit the oil).

In the same pan, add the ground chilli paste, make sure the heat is at medium to low. Add salt and 1 tsp sugar. Stir and cook till the oil comes to the surface. This should take about 10 minutes.

Transfer the tauhu cubes into the pan, mix to coat the chilli sambal with the tauhu.

Remove from heat. Drizzle with the lime juice and serve hot with rice, chappati or any crusty bread.



You may use more chillies if you like your sambal to be spicier.

You may deep fry the tauhu. In this recipe, I air fried it.


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