Pepes Tahu Jamur: Tofu & Mushroom Steamed in Banana Leaves

Pepes tahu jamur is a combination of tofu and mushrooms wrapped in a banana leaf, steamed, and then lightly grilled. A healthy, delectable dish that’s delicate in both taste and texture.

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

A dish of succulent mushroom wrapped in aromatic banana leaves. Pepes tahu jamur is another pepes variant made from tahu (tofu) and jamur (mushroom). 

Pepes, which are dishes wrapped in banana leaves and steamed, can be prepared using different kinds of proteins and vegetables. We’ve used tofu and mushroom as the main ingredients, resulting in a kind of tofu-egg roll with a mushroom filling. The dish is scrumptiously delicate, but firm in texture. 

To create such a texture, we used mashed firm tofu and egg as a binder, filled with shredded oyster mushroom, spices and a handful of fresh herbs. Oyster mushroom is soft with a mild, seafood-like flavour when cooked. It has a slightly chewy texture which makes it more interesting to the bite. This variety is also readily available in Indonesia. Other types of mushroom such as button or straw mushroom can also be used. 

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Making a pepes is daunting for a novice (even for me, when I think too much about it). The endless list of the ingredients, dealing with the banana leaves, not knowing where to start, or how it’ll end. It can all be overwhelming and discouraging. But fret not, because we’ll show you the workflow to make the process much simpler. As long as you’ve made all the preparations before the final wrapping, it should go well.

Make sure you prepare and place all the ingredients in one big flat plate. During the actual cooking and mixing process, you just need to take one ingredient after another from the plate you’ve already prepared. 

It’s a Wrap

Now, the final wrapping is the most arduous part of the whole process. It takes some time to master a neat wrapping technique using fresh banana leaves. If it’s any consolation, trust me, most of the Indonesian population can’t do it that easily either. As long as you secure both ends of the parcel using toothpicks after you roll the leaves, it should be fine.

You can use aluminium foil in case banana leaf is not available; or, in the worst case, a pyrex dish. But with pyrex, you won’t get the benefit of grilling the parcel over hot charcoal or grilling-pan for that great smoky flavour.

Hopefully all these tricks help make cooking the pepes a much easier process. It’s a great dish and totally worth the effort!

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Pepes Tahu Jamur: Tofu & Mushroom Steamed in Banana Leaves

Pepes Tahu Jamur: Tofu & Mushroom Steamed in Banana Leaves

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Tofu & Tempe
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Pepes tahu jamur is a combination of tofu and mushrooms wrapped in a banana leaf, steamed, and then lightly grilled. A healthy, delectable dish that’s delicate in both taste and texture.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 shallots, peeled, chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped.
  • 3 candlenuts, chopped.
  • 2 big red chillies, chopped.
  • 1 lemongrass, use only the white part, slice diagonally (around 2 cm).
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, each torn in half.
  • 1 red tomato, diced.
  • 5 bird’s eye chillies, optional.
  • 200 gr oyster mushroom, wash, squeeze the excess water, shred.
  • A handful of kemangi (Indonesian basil), use only the leaves (optional)
  • 1 spring onion, chopped.
  • 300 gr firm tofu, mashed
  • 2 small eggs.
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder.
  • 0.5 tsp granulated mushroom stock (optional)
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil.
  • Banana leaves for wrapping.
  • Toothpicks to secure the wrapping.

Instructions

  1. Blend into a fine paste: shallots, garlic, candlenuts and big red chillies.
  2. Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium high heat, then fry the blended spices until fragrant.
  3. Add lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, and continue frying for about 2 minutes.

    Add lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves

  4. Add the diced tomatoes and bird’s eye chillies.

    fry the blended spices

  5. Add salt, pepper and mushroom stock. 

  6. Add the shredded mushrooms. Cook for another 1 minute.

    Add the shredded mushrooms

  7. Turn off the heat after mixing thoroughly.

    Turn off the heat after mixing thoroughly

  8. Add kemangi leaves and spring onion.

  9. Add mashed tofu, mix.

  10. Add the eggs and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

    Add the eggs

  11. Prepare the banana leaves.

  12. Scoop 2 or 3 tbsps of the mixed ingredients onto 1 piece of banana leaf.

    Scoop ingredients onto a banana leaf

  13. Roll and secure both ends of the banana leaf using toothpicks.

    Roll the banana leaf

  14. Do the same thing for the rest of the mixture.

  15. When all is done, steam the parcels for about 30 minutes.

    steam the parcels

  16. Just before serving, grill the pepes over a non-stick grilling pan.

    grill the pepes

  17. Pepes tahu jamur is now ready!

    Pepes tahu jamur is now ready!


Notes

  • Banana leaves are easier to handle when they are not too fresh. They can be exposed under the sun or to fire for a while, to make them less stiff and brittle.
  • Silken tofu is not suitable for making pepes as it has a soft and slippery texture, making it very difficult to handle.

Keywords: Healthy, Spicy, Kemangi, eggs

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