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up close view of Sambal Tofu in a black bowl ready to serve

Sambal Tofu

Sambal tofu is a vegan dish made with tofu and a spicy chili sauce.
Course 30 minute recipes
Cuisine Malaysian
Prep Time 5 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 87kcal


  • 8 ounce block of medium firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons sambal
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • Fresh lime (for serving)
  • Steamed jasmine rice (for serving)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro (for serving)


  • Remove the tofu from the package and squeeze it lightly between paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Slice it into ½" cubes and pat dry with paper towels again if it is still moist.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat and add the tofu.
  • Fry on all sides until light brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, until softened. 
  • Add the tomato and cook 1 minute.
  • Add the sambal, kaffir lime leaves, soy sauce, coconut sugar and bring to a simmer
  • Add the tofu back in, gently toss to coat with the sauce and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 


  1. Make sure you use a nonstick skillet or well seasoned wok to fry the tofu or it will stick and make a mess.
  2. Firm tofu works best for this dish because it holds its shape and doesn't fall apart as easily as other types of tofu.
  3. Fresh chili peppers will give your Sambal Tofu a nice kick if you want additional spice. If you can't find fresh chili peppers, you can use dried chili flakes instead.
  4. You want to cook the tofu just enough so that it's slightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside. Overcooking the tofu will make it tough and dry.
  5. Sambal Tofu is traditionally served with rice, which helps to balance out the spice from the chili peppers.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 827mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 273IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg