One of the popular traditional foods in Surabaya is Tofu Tek. Tofu Tek contains half-cooked tofu, rice cake, potatoes, bean sprouts and sliced cucumber. Then doused with peanut sauce that has been mixed with sweet soy sauce and petis. By the way, petis is a traditional Indonesian condiment that is similar to shrimp paste, but with a slightly different taste and texture. It is made from fermented shrimp, which is ground into a paste and mixed with other ingredients such as sugar, garlic, shallots, and chili peppers. The resulting condiment is a dark-colored, thick paste that has a savory, umami flavor with a slightly sweet and spicy taste. Petis is commonly used in Indonesian cuisine as a dipping sauce or as a flavor enhancer in soups, stews, and other dishes. It is particularly popular in East Java, where it is often served as a condiment for various dishes, including seafood, noodles, and rice. Petis is also known for its strong aroma, which can be off-putting to some people but is considered a desirable characteristic by many Indonesian food enthusiasts. Growing up in Surabaya, I was not a big fan of petis, but it has grown on me over time.
What is Tofu Tek?
Tofu Tek Surabaya is a traditional Indonesian dish that originated in Surabaya, the capital city of East Java province. The dish is made from tofu, which is cut into small pieces and fried until crispy, then mixed with boiled eggs, cucumber, bean sprouts, fried shallots, and a sauce made from ground peanuts, chili, and other spices. The resulting dish is a flavorful and nutritious combination of crunchy, savory, and spicy flavors and textures. Tofu Tek Surabaya is known for being a popular street food in Surabaya, as well as a staple dish in many Indonesian households. It is considered to be a healthy and low-fat dish that is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, making it a popular choice for those who are health-conscious. The dish is often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer, and can be found in local markets, street vendors, and restaurants throughout Surabaya and other regions of Indonesia.
A Brief history of Tofu Tek Surabaya
Tofu tek Surabaya is a traditional Indonesian dish that originated in the city of Surabaya, which is located in the East Java province of Indonesia. I spent my junior high years in the city of Surabaya and loved every minute of it. After school, (Surabaya International School that was located in Darmo, Surabaya back in the 1970s but now in a different location in Surabaya) I would eat at the little warung or at times at a nearby kaki lima waiting for our ride home and many times enjoyed a wonderful spicy tofu tek dish. Those were great days! This dish has been around for generations and is believed to have been created by Chinese immigrants who settled in the city of Surabaya. Over time, the dish has become a popular street food in Surabaya, as well as a staple dish in many Indonesian households.
Today, tofu tek Surabaya can be found in many local markets, street vendors, and restaurants throughout Surabaya and other regions of Indonesia. It is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, and is considered to be one of the must-try dishes when visiting Surabaya. Locals (like me when I was growing up in Indonesia) in Surabaya and other regions of Indonesia enjoy tofu tek Surabaya for a handful of reasons. First, this dish has a unique blend of flavors and textures that is both satisfying and delicious. The crispy fried tofu, boiled eggs, crunchy bean sprouts, and flavorful peanut sauce create a perfect harmony of sweet, sour, spicy, and savory flavors that are irresistible to many Indonesians. Yes, the peanut sauce with a load of spicy chili on my plate is to die for!
Second, tofu tek Surabaya is considered to be a healthy (as long as you don’t do what I do by adding a heap more peanut sauce to this wonderful dish) and nutritious dish that is low in fat and high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The tofu and bean sprouts provide a good source of protein, while the peanut sauce is rich in healthy fats, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
Last, tofu tek Surabaya is a popular street food that is widely available and very affordable, making it a convenient and easy option for busy locals on the go. It is also a dish that is often shared and enjoyed with family and friends, adding to its appeal as a social and cultural tradition in many Indonesian households.
Now let’s me share how tofu tek Surabaya is made as well as what ingredients is needed to make this delicious Indonesian dish.
Ingredients needed for Tofu Tek Surabaya
To make a tasty tofu tek Surabaya dish, you will need the following ingredients:
- 400g of firm tofu
- 2 boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 100g of bean sprouts
- 4 tablespoons of fried shallots
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
For the sauce:
- 100g of roasted peanuts
- 5 red chili peppers, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 100 ml of water
Please note that the quantities can be adjusted to taste and depending on how many servings you want to make. My wife and I are big on our dishes being on the spicey side so we add double amount of red chili peppers.
To make the sauce, you will need to blend the roasted peanuts, chopped chili peppers, minced garlic, tamarind paste, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor until it becomes a smooth paste. Then, add the water and mix until the sauce has a thin consistency.
To make the tofu tek Surabaya dish, you will need to cut the tofu into small cubes and fry them in a pan with the vegetable oil until they become crispy and golden brown. Once the tofu is ready, mix it with the boiled eggs, sliced cucumber, bean sprouts, and fried shallots in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the mixture and stir well until everything is coated in the sauce. Serve the dish immediately while it’s still warm.
That’s it! With these ingredients and steps (which we use in our home), you should be able to make a delicious tofu tek Surabaya dish at home.
Nutritional value of Tofu Tek Surabaya
Here are the nutritional values of a typical serving of tofu tek Surabaya. Do keep in mind this is the typical serving you at the road side stalls (warungs) but if you came to our home you would need to triple everything because our family loves eating tofu tek Surabaya:
- Calories: 375 kcal
- Protein: 21.3 g
- Fat: 23.8 g
- Saturated fat: 3.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 23.6 g
- Fiber: 5.5 g
- Sugar: 11.1 g
- Sodium: 561 mg
- Calcium: 248 mg
- Iron: 5.5 mg
- Vitamin A: 673 IU
- Vitamin C: 29.8 mg
Please note that these values can vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size, so it’s important to check the nutritional information of the ingredients used to make your tofu tek Surabaya dish.
Where to find Tofu Tek Surabaya in Surabaya
Here are five locations where you can enjoy a great dish of tofu tek Surabaya when you are in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Please note that these addresses and descriptions may be subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to double-check before visiting.
- Tahu Tek Pak Jayen Location: Jl. Dinoyo No. 58, Dinoyo, Kec. Sawahan, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60241, Indonesia Description: This is a small stall located in the Dinoyo area of Surabaya that has been serving tofu tek for over 40 years. The stall is known for its delicious and authentic tofu tek, which is made using traditional recipes and cooking methods.
- Tahu Tek Spesial Bu Purnomo Location: Jl. Kedinding Lor No.21, Kedinding, Kec. Tegalsari, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60261, Indonesia Description: Bu Purnomo is a famous street vendor in Surabaya that specializes in tofu tek. The stall is known for its generous portions and unique flavor, which is a result of the special sauce and spices used in the recipe.
- Tahu Tek Lik Man Location: Jl. Ngagel Jaya Selatan No. 112, Ngagel, Kec. Wonokromo, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60284, Indonesia Description: This is a popular restaurant in Surabaya that serves a variety of Indonesian dishes, including tofu tek. The dish is made using high-quality ingredients and served in a cozy and comfortable atmosphere.
- Tahu Tek Pak Jayo Location: Jl. Embong Malang No. 78, Genteng, Kec. Genteng, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60272, Indonesia Description: Pak Jayo is a legendary street vendor in Surabaya that has been serving tofu tek for over 30 years. The stall is known for its rich and flavorful peanut sauce, which is a secret recipe passed down through generations.
- Tahu Tek Hj. Nani Location: Jl. Ambengan No. 20, Tambaksari, Kec. Tambaksari, Kota Surabaya, Jawa Timur 60136, Indonesia Description: Hj. Nani is a popular street vendor in Surabaya that serves a variety of Indonesian dishes, including tofu tek. The dish is made using fresh and high-quality ingredients, and is served in a traditional style on a banana leaf.
Can I fly into Surabaya from Singapore?
Yes, you sure can fly from Singapore to Surabaya. There are several airlines that operate flights between these two cities, with varying schedules, prices, and travel times. Here’s some information to help you plan your trip:
1. Airlines: Some of the airlines that offer flights from Singapore to Surabaya include Garuda Indonesia, SilkAir, and AirAsia. My wife and I really enjoy Garuda Indonesia and fly them throughout Indonesia.
2. Flight duration: The flight time from Singapore (is a small island city-state located in Southeast Asia, known for its modern infrastructure, high standard of living, and diverse cultural heritage) to Surabaya is around 2 hours and 30 minutes, depending on the airline and specific flight.
3. Airport information: Singapore has one main airport, Changi Airport (SIN), while Surabaya has Juanda International Airport (SUB). Both airports are modern and well-equipped, with a range of facilities and services for travelers. The Juanda International Airport is outside of Surabaya and will take an average of 1 to 2 hours depending on traffic, to get to the center part of the city of Surabaya. I know, because I lived in Waru back in the 1970s with my family. Waru is around 20-minute drive from the Juanda International Airport.
4. Ticket prices: The cost of a one-way ticket from Singapore to Surabaya can vary depending on the airline, travel dates, and how far in advance you book. It’s recommended to compare prices across different airlines and booking platforms to find the best deal. Even though Garuda Indonesia has usually the pricier ticket cost, they arrive on time and provide a superb comfortable flying experience.
5. Visa requirements: Singapore passport holders do not need a visa to enter Indonesia for tourism purposes (at this time of writing), and can stay for up to 30 days. However, it’s recommended to check the latest visa requirements and regulations before traveling. As a U.S. citizen I am (at the time of this writing) able to get a 30 day on arrival visa. But it is best to see if you can get your visa before you fly into Indonesia or talk with your travel agent to find the best option for you.
Overall, flying from Singapore to Surabaya is a convenient and efficient way to travel between these two destinations, and there are several airlines and flight options to choose from. With proper planning and research, you can find a flight that suits your schedule and budget, and enjoy a seamless travel experience.
If you’re visiting Surabaya, be sure to try the delicious and authentic tofu tek Surabaya. With its unique blend of flavors and textures, this dish is sure to tantalize your taste buds and give you a taste of the local cuisine. Whether you choose to sample it from a street vendor or a restaurant, you’re sure to be delighted by the rich history and cultural significance of this iconic dish – it’s a culinary adventure you won’t soon forget!”
Don’t Forget to Travel Safely!
Now you know where to get delicious tofu tek when you visit the city of Surabaya. But there is one very important step that people forget when making international travel plans is purchasing travel insurance. We never plan for accidents to happen, but sadly, they happen more than we realize. We’ve been serving travelers for over 25 years and have heard more tragic stories than we would have liked.
Before you travel, make sure you have a travel health insurance plan that will protect you and your loved ones. You will be able to travel with peace of mind knowing your covered if anything unfortunate happens.
Good Neighbor Insurance Global Brokerage also provides videos on how to best use your travel insurance with answers that our clients over the course of our founding back in 1997 has asked us over the years. You may find some of our great travel insurance videos here.
We sincerely hope you enjoy your travels to Indonesia and beyond!