1 block (16 ounces) firm tofu
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 small onion, diced
4 tsp sambal ulek or 3 red chili peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp Laos powder
½ tsp terasi
5 kemiri nuts (candlenuts) grated
2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in julienne strips
2 Tbsp tamarind water
2 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp gula jawa
5 salam leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, halved and lightly smashed with the flat part of a knife (optional)
1 Tbsp kecap manis
1 pb large shrimp, peeled, deveined
2 eggs, hard-cooked
On a cutting board, halve the tofu horizontally; cut each half into 12 pieces to make 24 total.
In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of the oil. Fry the tofu pieces for about 10 minutes, gently tossing them to nicely brown them on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tofu to a bowl. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the garlic, onion, chili paste or chilies, turmeric, and nuts. Work the mixture with a spoon to form a paste.
Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the spice paste. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until it releases its aroma. Add the coconut milk, red bell pepper, tamarind water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, and lemongrass, if using. Simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute more.
Return the tofu to the pan with the whole eggs. Cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through.
Remove the eggs from the sauce. Halve them and set them on top of the dish. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.