There are a number of recipes that didn’t make it into the Asian Tofu cookbook. Why? We just did not have enough space. This remarkably easy and versatile Indonesian treat is among the recipes that I set aside to post online. If you have the book already, add this to your Asia tofu recipe collection. If you don’t, this is a recipe that highlights how tofu can be transformed as well as transformative.
Tahu telur (tahu means tofu and telur means eggs) is like egg foo yung with pieces of fried tofu. In its elemental state, a block tofu is subtle in flavor, a canvas for receiving other ingredients. However, if you fry tofu, it gets a little crunchy and nutty tasting, almost like crisp chicken skin.
For these pancakes, small flattish pieces of tofu (I use Trader Joe's firm) get fried and then mixed with egg. The tofu absorbs some of the egg while lending its fattiness to reinforce that of the egg, as if it's an egg extender.
Then the mixture is dropped into hot oil. The amoeba-like pancakes develop crisp surfaces and edges. The delicately rich and eggy result gets crowned with crunchy vegetables and savory-sweet-spicy sauce, typically peanut sauce or chile-spiked sweet soy sauce; both sauces are in the photo above. The combination of texture and flavors is amazing.