Although is originated from China, when arrives in Indonesia the tofu becomes so popular and unique. The old soft and square tofu has changed. In my village, for instance, there is spongebob tofu. Its shape is square like the naïve Spongebob Squarepants cartoon character. Only, it is not covered by any shirt and pants, but by the seasoned batter of flour.
Spongebob tofu is made from tahu sumedang (sumedang tofu). Have you tasted it before? It is delicious and crispy. Yummy! Trust me, the taste is different from the other tofus in all over the world. As the name, it comes from Sumedang, a city in West Java. The texture is soft inside and rather rough outside.
Actually, we can make another dish with this kind of tofu, such as gehu (acronym of tauge and tahu). Here, sumedang tofu is filled with tauge (bean sprouts) or other vegetables such as cabbage or carrot, then it is put in the batter of flour before being fried. Recently, there is gehu pedas a.k.a gehu lada (means spicy gehu). People adds chilly in it.
Sumedang tofu is also used in baso tahu, a kind of culinary made from tapioca flour mixed with some kinds of flavor and tenggiri fish. All is steamed. We eat it with nut sauce or sambal peda. Mm, delectable! It can be fried to, called batagor (fried meat-ball tofu).
Another kind of snack that is made from tofu is tahu bulat (ball tofu). It is unique because the shape is similar with a table-tennis ball. Round tofu comes from Tasikmalaya (some says from Ciamis). It is made from crushed white seasoning tofu. The texture is dry outside and soft inside.
There is also tahu gejrot from Cirebon. Oh yes, you should try brintik tofu. I think it is like kediri tofu. It has a different shape with sumedang tofu and round tofu. Brintik tofu has a form like a stick and crispy. However, there is also brintik tofu in square. You may eat it with mayonnaise or seasoning like barbeque, cheese, balado, etc.
That’s all I know (as a West Java citizen). I believe there are still many variations of tofu in Indonesia. You tell me. [photos by Angel Wijaya]