Do you know what “gimbal” means in Indonesian? It’s dreadlocked hair! “Gimbal” does also mean the hair that’s never been washed, so it gets dirtier and thicker than usual. Yuck! At least, that’s what crossed my mind when first time I heard this cuisine. Tahu gimbal.
It’s a local food in Semarang, Central Java. What does it look like? How good (or sickening) is the taste? I really had no idea. Until when my husband and I had oportunity to step our feet on Semarang.
Well, tahu gimbal is made from tofu, lontong or ketupat, gimbal (shrimp fried with flour), fried egg, and vegetables such as sprout, cabbage and basil. While the sauce is made from nuts, chili, brown sugar, salt, water, and petis (fermented fish) that are crushed together.
I would say, it is like tahu tek in Surabaya or kupat tahu in Bandung (if you know those foods). However, I think tahu gimbal is more delicious.
And we can cook it too at home, since the ingredients are so easy to find everywhere, especially in Surabaya where I can find fine quality petis.
To make tahu gimbal, just prepare some fried tofu, lontong or ketupat, fried egg, sprout (boil it for a while), cabbage (chop it small), and basil. For the gimbal itself, get ready some shrimp, flour, salt, pepper, water, and oil for frying. And for the sauce, you need nuts (fried), big or little chili, brown sugar, salt, water, and petis.
Now, let’s make it, shall we?
- Gimbal: Mix the flour, salt and pepper with a few water. If the batter is too liquid, add flour. But if it’s too thick, add water on it. Then, add the shrimp. Take the batter about two spoons, flat and fry it.
- Sauce: Crush the fried nuts with other seasoning, then add water. If you don’t like hot, put one chili only on it (to be crushed).
- Tahu gimbal: Chop the tofu, lontong or ketupat, and gimbal. Put them on a plate. Add the vegetables on it. Don’t forget the fried egg. Last, pour the nut sauce. Voilà, the tahu gimbal is ready to serve.
There are enough carbohydrate, protein, and fiber on that dish. A portion of tahu gimbal should fill you up. And it’s very delectable, trust me.