Skip to content

Tofu Pepes in Turmeric Leaf

Tofupepes 1 1

Tofu Pepes is a delightful and traditional Indonesian dish that features tofu as its star ingredient. The tofu is typically crumbled and marinated in a harmonious blend of aromatic spices like garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass and candlenut. The marinated tofu is then wrapped in banana leaves, imparting a subtle earthy flavour to the dish. The bundles are steamed to perfection, allowing the tofu to soak up the rich, fragrant flavours of the seasoning. Tofu Pepes is not only a testament to the diverse and flavorful cuisine of Indonesia but also showcases the country’s unique culinary tradition of cooking in banana leaves, which adds a special touch to this delectable, plant-based delight

The recipe I am going to show you today is however steamed in Turmeric leaves. Steaming food in turmeric leaves infuses a unique, earthy aroma and subtle spiciness into the dish, enhancing both its flavour and visual appeal. This traditional cooking method, common in some Southeast Asian cuisines, imparts a delightful twist to the culinary experience. Apart from Banana leaves, you can also use Jackfruit tree leaves, Maple leaves or corn peels.

Turmeric Plants

There are several recipes for Tofu pipes and they use several more spices and vegetables than what I have shown. This recipe uses an egg as a binder to get a smooth texture. If you wish to make this a Vegan and Vegetarian recipe then you can skip the egg, it will still give you great results.


You must use Firm Tofu for this recipe. Silken Tofu has a soft and slippery texture and is unsuitable for this dish. You can also skip the egg if you wish to make it Vegetarian or Vegan.

Tofu Pepes in Turmeric Leaf

Recipe by Srikant SinghCuisine: IndonesianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 500 grams of firm tofu.

  • 100 grams Tomato

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 1 egg (optional)

  • 1/2 Tbsp Salt

  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper

  • For the marinade
  • 50 grams/ 10 Shallots, peel and chop

  • 10 Kaffir lime leaves, remove the harder midrib

  • 2 Tbsp lemongrass, chop the core

  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Turmeric root, peel and chop

  • 4 birds eye/Thai chilli, remove seeds to reduce the heat


  • Blend the ingredients of the marinade with 1 Tablespoon of water into a smooth paste. You will get roughly 4 Tbsp of paste.Screenshot 2023 10 24 At 12.37.52 Pm
  • Crumble the Tofu in a large bowl and mix it with the Tofu marinade.Screenshot 2023 10 24 At 12.38.53 Pm
  • Add the basil leaves and tomato, salt as per your taste and mixScreenshot 2023 10 24 At 12.39.55 Pm
  • Add black pepper and egg and mix again. The filling is readyScreenshot 2023 10 24 At 11.52.02 Am
  • Heat the Turmeric leaf on a flat pan. Heating the leaf in which you fold the ingredients will soften them and will make folding easier. Screenshot 2023 10 24 At 11.57.21 Am
  • Now place the marinaded tofu in the centre of the leaf and fold it. When the leaf is folded secure it with a kitchen twine. Screenshot 2023 10 24 At 12.02.35 Pm
  • Prepare a steaming pot and steam the Tofu pepes for 15 minutesScreenshot 2023 10 24 At 12.03.51 Pm
  • Once the tofu pepes are ready, cut open the twine and open the folded leaf to reveal the magic inside.Screenshot 2023 10 24 At 12.23.27 Pm
  • This recipe can also be made with, soft cheese like Paneer, Ricotta cheese or fish using the same method.

Recipe Video

Please follow and like us: