vegan peanut tofu sambal
A Nyonya in UK, Culture, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian, Vegan

Sambal Taukwa

Sambal Taukwa is a long forgotten dish as far as I am concerned. As a kid growing up in a small town, we commonly go across the street to buy food from the Malay shop.

Nasi lemak or coconut rice wrapped  in banana leaves is a firm favourite. Sambal taukwa is another. A sweet and savoury dish, it is sold in little triangles, covered with a peanut sauce. Sometimes we buy the sambal to supplement our lunch, when we are busy with other chores.

Here is my version of it.

Here is the video. Sambal Taukwa.

Printable recipe is below. I hope you enjoy making it.

Remember to like and share this with your friends.


Many thanks,

Penang Lassie

Sambal Taukwa

An easy recipe from my days in Malaysia. It's vegan, too.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Malaysian
Keyword: chillis, palm sugar, peanuts, Tamarind, taukwa, tofu
Servings: 4
Cost: £3.00


  • Frying pan


  • 400 g Firm tofu or Taukwa. Cauldron organic tofu is ok, 396g. Or use equivalent of firm tofu or taukwa which you can get from oriental stores Cut into 2cm cubes, drain and pat dry with kitchen towels
  • 2 Shallots or around 30 to 40g
  • 3 cloves Garlic , or around 12 to 15g
  • 3 Red chillies, deseeded if you want less hot
  • 1 tbsp heaped, Tamarind pulp, or ½ tsp of tamarind concentrate -   or to taste
  • 2 tbsp Palm sugar, or brown sugar, or plain white sugar-  or to taste
  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp White pepper powder, or to taste
  • 50 g Peanuts, dry roasted and pound coarsely
  • 300 ml Water
  • 1 Spring onion chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup Cooking oil for frying


Prepare the ingredients

  • Peel and clean the shallots, garlic and spring onions.
  • Wash the chillies. Remove seeds from chillies if desired and cut roughly.
  • Cut the shallots and garlic
  • Cut the spring onions finely (or chop), and set it aside.
  •  Put the shallots, garlic and chillies in a small chopper or blender and add some water from the total amount.
  • Blitz till fine.
  • Soak the tamarind pulp with some water from the jug , mash it up with your hand until all the pulp are mixed and dissolved in the water. Set aside

Cooking it

  • In a frying pan, heat up the oil over high heat for a few minutes until hot.
  • Add in the dry taukwa and fry for a fry minutes until lightly brown. Turn and fry the other side.
  • Turn and flip a few times so that the cubes are sort of evenly fried.
  • Remove and drain on a sieve and set aside.
  • With about 2 tbsp of oil in the pan, add in the chilli mixture to the pan and fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  • Add in the tamarind water while sieving the bits with your hands or a sieve.
  • Add in some more water so that it covers the takwa and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for about 3 minutes then add in the sugar, salt. Taste that it is to your liking. Finally, tip the pounded peanut into the pan and stir.
  • You may add some more water if you want a lighter gravy. Taste that it is to your liking. Add more salt, sugar or tamarind if you wish.
  • The peanut gravy will thicken when cooled.
  • Serve hot rice and an accompaniment, like a vegetable dish


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