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Tahu Isi (Deep Fried Tofu Stuffed with Vegetables)

Posting Date: 10/14/15

Tahu Isi (Deep Fried Tofu Stuffed with Vegetables)

Tahu isi (deep fried tofu stuffed with vegetables) is street food. It is considered as snack. The tofu used for this recipe is deep fried puff tofu. Unlike the regular tofu you find in the grocery store, the inside of puff tofu is not dense and is like sponge. It is puffy and lighter than the regular tofu and hence, the name. The tofu is sold fried, unlike the regular tofu. The shape is normally cube. I sometimes cannot find it in my Asian store, so I use deep fried tofu. In my store, the shape is triangle. It is basically regular tofu which is cut into triangle and deep fried. This will work, too although I like puff tofu better because it feels lighter and puffy when you fry it.

Tahu isi is normally served with Thai chili pepper on the side. So, you bite a little bit of the tofu, bite a little bit of the chili pepper, and chew them together. Thai chili pepper is very hot, so that's why in this recipe I use peanut sauce as a dipping sauce. It actually tastes better with peanut sauce than the chili pepper. If you are allergic to peanut, skip the peanut sauce, and use sweet chili sauce, instead.

If you know someone who doesn't like tofu, this might be the entry way to introduce someone to tofu. The reason is because the tofu is fried and sprinkled with salt after frying. I know people who think regular tofu is bland but anything fried and salty taste better and thus, they eat it while they won't even touch regular tofu. Also the peanut sauce complements the tofu well.

Please note that the oil will splatter around when you fry the tofu because the batter is slightly wet. So, use the splatter screen when frying.


  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 8 pieces of puff tofu or deep fried tofu
  • 1 carrot, cut into cubes of 1/4"
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup of sliced cabbage
  • 1 green beans, cut into 1/4" length
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 4.5 tablespoons water
  • For peanut sauce: 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • For peanut sauce: 2 tablespoons hot water
  • For peanut sauce: 1/8 teaspoon of vinegar


  1. Heat about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Saute shallots and garlic until aromatic.
  2. Add carrot, cabbage, green bean, and bean sprouts. Stir fry them until cooked.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Put them in a bowl and let them cool down.
  4. Since we need to stuff the tofu with vegetables, choose the side of tofu you want to slit open. If the shape of tofu is cube, it doesn't matter which side you choose. However, if the shape is triangle, I normally choose the side that has the longest length so that it will be easier to stuff the vegetables. Once you choose the side, slit along the center of tofu, leaving out 1/8" from the edge not slit because we don't want to break apart the tofu. Don't slit too deep because all we want is to crack open the top so that we have access to the inside. Using your fingers, empty the inside of tofu by taking out the inside while making sure you leave a little bit for the inside wall so that you don't puncture the outside skin of the tofu. Don't throw away the inside tofu since it will be used to stuff the top once you finish filling in the inside. Repeat this step for all the tofu.
  5. Using your fingers, stuff the vegetables inside the tofu. Don't stuff it too full at the top since we will stuff it with the inside tofu that is previously removed. This way, the vegetables will be sealed with the tofu. Repeat this step for all the tofu.
  6. Mix flour with water well so that they become thick batter.
  7. Heat enough vegetable oil to fry the tofu. You may need to use splatter screen when frying the tofu because of the wet batter.
  8. Dip the tofu in the batter. Remove excess batter and fry it until all sides become brown and crispy. Dry it on a plate lined with paper towel. While it is still hot, sprinkle a little bit of salt on top.
  9. To make peanut sauce, mix peanut butter, vinegar and 2 tablespoons hot water and whisk them well to the consistency you want. If you like it thin and runny, add more water. If you like it thick, add less water. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve tofu with peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce if you are allergic to peanut sauce.

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