Spicy Tofu Sambal

 Vegetarian | Vegan | Malaysian Recipe

I cook lots of vegetarian food at home and Tofu (or Bean Curd) is one of my favourite! An excellent source of protein, amino acids, iron, calcium and other micro-nutrients, tofu is a great ingredient with many health benefits.

Fast facts on tofu

  • Tofu is an important source of protein for many vegetarians and vegans
  • It may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • It may offer relief for certain symptoms of menopause
  • Tofu may reduce the risk of cancer – it contains a soy isoflavone called genistein which can increase the activity of a protein p53 which suppresses tumour growth and can cause cell death of cancer cells – Tofu is regularly consumed in Japan – a country where the risk of breast cancer is the lowest, compared to western countries.
  • Low in calories – One block of tofu (250gm) contains approximately 177 calories

Be careful when choosing your tofu at your grocery store as there are two kinds of tofu : Silken Tofu and Hard or Firm Tofu. Silken tofu, also known as Soft tofu or Japanese style tofu has a softer consistency and will fall apart if not handled cautiously.

On the other hand, Hard tofu, which is also known as the Chinese-style tofu or bean curd is more commonly used. In most of my cooking, I use hard tofu as they are easier to cook with and the tofu retains its shape even after cooking. Both silken and regular tofu is made from the same ingredients, but they are processed slightly differently and are NOT interchangeable in a recipe.

Today, I’m sharing with you a Spicy Tofu Sambal recipe, which is fairly easy to cook with very basic ingredients.

Good Luck in attempting this recipe! If you have any questions, please drop me a message.

Spicy Tofu Sambal Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 3 tablespoon of Oil
  • 6 - 10 Dried Chilli Soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
  • 1 Tomato chopped
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Onion sliced
  • 1/2 Green Capsicum cubed (optional)
  • 1 pack of hard / firm tofu 250gm
  • Cilantro / coriander leaves chopped for garnish
  • Required salt


  1. Firstly, cut the tofu in cubes and fry them in the hot oil until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  2. Blend the soaked dry chilled, one of the sliced onion, garlic and tomato in blender till smooth paste consistency.
  3. Heat pan and add oil. Fry the remaining sliced onions till slightly brown.
  4. Add the blended chilli paste and required salt and cook until the oil separates and gravy thickens. If you like more gravy and less spicy, you can add some water.
  5. Add capsicum and tofu pieces to the gravy and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes. 

  6. Garnish with coriander leaves.

  7. Serve with steamed rice.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you are not a fan of spice, you can use less dried chillies or take the seeds out of the dried chillies before blending them. 
  2. If you do not wish to add capsicum, you may exclude it from the recipe or you may substitute with peas. 
  3. At Step 4, you can add one tsp of sugar to make the gravy caramelize and turn dark red color. The sugar will also give some added flavour.


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