Balinese Tofu & Quail Eggs
Origin: Bali Island
- 500 g tofu, cut in cube/approx. similar size to the quail egg
- 20 pc quail egg
- 2 pc ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 cm galangale, thinly sliced or bruished
- 1 stem lemon grass, outer leaves discarded, cut in two, crashed or bruished
- 3 pc kaffir lime leaves, discard the rib of the leaf
- 2 pc salam or bay leaves
- 300 ml hot water
- 1 tsp tamarind pulp, soak in 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp Indonesian sweet soya sauce / Kecap Manis
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp sugar to taste
- oil to fry tofu
Spice for the paste
- 8 pc shallots, chopped
- 3 gloves garlic, chopped
- 7 pc large red chillies, de-seeded (if you don't like it spicy), chopped
- 5 pc candlenuts, roughly chopped or crashed
- 2 cm ginger
- ¼ tsp roasted dried shrimp paste / terasi (optional)
Balinese Tofu & Quail Eggs
This dish is very popular in Java, especially in the eastern regions. Bumbu Bali is commonly cooked for Selamatan/Slametan or communal feast. Selamatan will be conducted to celebrate almost any occasions, including birth, marriage, death, moving house, and so forth.In my hometown, when my parents and all my neighbours have the above mentioned occasions, they will send us Nasi Takir or Nasi Berkat (Blessed Rice). It is a banana-leaf container, stuffed with rice & many variants of side dishes. The side dishes are generally consisted of: "Mie Goreng", "Sambal Goreng Kentang Hati", "Kering Tempe", "Blanched Vegetables with Coconut Dressing" and Daging/Ayam/Telor Bumbu Bali.You can use any ingredients with this basic paste, for example with beef called "Daging Bumbu Bali", with chicken called "Ayam Bumbu Bali", with fried fish called "Ikan Bumbu Bali", etc.This time I combine tofu & quail eggs. If you're a vegetarian, just take tofu and tempeh combination.
- Put the quail eggs with enough cold water in a small deep sauce pan. Ensure all the eggs are covered with water.
- Bring over high heat to boil then reduce to medium heat and continue to cook for 10 minutes until the eggs become hard. (Tips: Do not boil eggs in boiling water which keeps on popping otherwise the shell will be broken and the content comes out).
- Once they're cooked, discard the hot water, rinse and soak in cold water immediately so that a shock effect occurs.
- Leave them sit for 10 minutes, the eggs will be cool and ready to peel easily.
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a fryingpan/skillet on medium heat, fry the hard-boiled eggs. (Tips: Make around 4 lighlty (not too deep) slits on the eggs, to reduce oil's splater during frying).
- Fry until the outer surface becomes lightly golden brown.
- Set aside to drain. (Note: You can skip the frying process if you prefer but fried hard boiled eggs will mix and absorb the spice paste better than a slippery hard boil egg.)
- While waiting the soaking process, prepare the tofu. Cut in dice/cube which has similar size to the quail egg.
- Heat about 100 ml oil in a fryingpan/skillet on medium heat, fry the tofu until lightly golden brown (Note: Do not fry too long otherwise the tofu will be too hard. Just fry until the outer surface turn to lightly brown).
- Set aside to drain and put aside.
- Prepare all ingredients for the paste, peel-off and cut in smaller pieces if necessary.
- If necessary add a little bit oil to help the blending process.
- Blend the spices into a smooth paste.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan/wok, sautee the paste with lemon grass, galangale, kaffir-lime leaf and salam/bay leaf.
- Stir all the time until the paste done & well cooked to obtain the best taste. The paste is done when the texture becomes scrambled & the colour changes from yellow into orange/red. (It takes approx. 5 minutes).
- Add the fried tofu & hard boiled quail eggs. Stir to mix.
- Add the hot water ***, tamarind juice, salt and chopped tomato. Adjust into medium heat & simmer for approx 15 minutes until the water is being absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Add kecap manis and stir to mix.
- Adjust the taste. Add sugar or salt if necessary. Remove from heat & serve hot with rice as a side dish
- *** Add the boiled/hot water & cook on medium heat to preserve it's best taste.
- You may cook this dish one day in advance, store in the fridge (keep the leaves with). It lets the flavors absorbed perfectly and tastes more delicious.
- If you use a blender/mixer/grinder instead of pestle & mortar to grind/pound/blend wet spices which contains of large red chilies, remove the chili's seed and set aside. Don't add into the blender. You can add and mix the seed later once the paste is done. With this method, you will get beautifully-reddish colour sauce for your finished dishes.
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