Tofu Skin Salad with Sambal Matah (Vegan)

An experimental combination of a Balinese sambal and a Chinese dish. Here, sambal matah and Sichuan pepper oil mix with sliced tofu skin.

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Deyana Goh
Deyana Goh
Deyana was born in Singapore and lives there. She is half-Chinese, half-Arab, with a grandmother who was born to an Arab family in Bogor, Indonesia. Deyana grew up eating Indonesian food as it is cooked in Arab-Indonesian households, and has fond memories of the festive whole chicken stuffed with lamb.

I love sambal matah, and I love tofu skin, and I love the mouth-numbing Sichuan chilli known as ma la. So I thought to combine all these three things! This is easy-to-cook experimental beancurd tofu skin salad inspired by our sambal matah recipe. 

Tofu skin, or beancurd skin, is easily found in the supermarkets in Singapore. It comes in square packs, and consists of many thin layers folded atop one another. From what I gather, tofu skin is commonly used in both North and South China — although the way it’s packed might differ. Some sell pre-sliced tofu skin, but that’s not what we get here. So, if you’re buying in Singapore, you’ll need to buy the square packs. You’ll then do the work of thinly slicing each layer. You’ll also need to boil the Tofu skin for a few minutes to soften it before cooking or mixing into a salad.

Another key ingredient in this recipe is Sichuan pepper oil. This is basically distilled oil that no longer contains any chilli residue. They sell this in the supermarkets, too. 


For this recipe, I’ve modified sambal matah slightly, so as to make sure the flavours complement the Sichuan chilli. Also, because it’s a salad, I’ve reduced the amount of chillies considerably. 

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Tofu Skin Salad with Sambal Matah (Vegan)

Tofu Skin Salad with Sambal Matah (Vegan)

  • Author: Deyana Goh
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Tofu & Tempeh, Snacks
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegan


This is an experimental dish combining the refreshing Balinese sambal matah, with a Chinese dish known as tofu skin salad. Here, sambal matah and Sichuan pepper oil are mixed with sliced tofu skin.


  • 200g tofu skin, thinly sliced
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  • 5 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, use the tender white part, finely chopped
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper oil


  1. Boil the tofu skin for 3-5 min. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the tofu skin, vegetable oil, and Sichuan pepper oil. Continue mixing until the shallots start to sweat and the ingredients are well-combined, about 5-10 min.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan or a wok until it starts to smoke, then add the Sichuan pepper oil. Turn off the flame after a few seconds.
  4. Pour the hot oil over the shallot mix, and mix well.
  5. Add the tofu skin, and mix well. Serve.

    Tofu Skin with Sambal Matah is served


  • You can always make your own Sichuan oil with Sichuan peppercorns, or buy a bottle of Sichuan chilli that comes with the peppers.

Keywords: Spicy, experimental, one-pot meal, vegan, quick and easy

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