Nonya fried tofu

This part of the world (Singapore) has its local KFC, it is called NFC or Nonya Fried Chicken. 🙂 Here is a vegetarian version of the recipe made using fresh bean curd.

If I understand correctly, the word nonya is an old Malay word used to show respect and affection to women therefor meaning “madame” and “auntie” at the same time. Nonya has come  to refer to the cuisine of the Peranakans (= early Chinese migrants who settled in Indonesia, Penang, Malacca, and Singapore, inter-marrying with local Malays) .

Nonya or Peranakan cooking is the result of this: blending Chinese ingredients with various spices used by the Malay and Indonesian community. Key spices include coconut milk, galangal, laksa leaf, pandan leaves, tamarind, lemongrass, torch ginger bud, lime leaf.


500g of firm organic tofu
some coconut milk
120g brown rice flour
2tbsp sea salt
2tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp ground tumeric
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp onion powder
coconut oil for frying


  1. Mix together all the spices, flour and salt until well combined.
  2. Drizzle 2–3 tablespoons of coconut milk into the flour in small intervals, forking it through – you want the mixture a little lumpy.
  3. Pour some coconut oil into a large, deep saucepan, (no need to put to much, you do not need the tofu to soak in the oil to gently fry it), and place the pan over a medium heat.
  4. Pour some coconut milk into a bowl.
  5. Toss the cubes of tofu in the milk and in the flour mixture to coat.
  6. Shake off any excess coating and set aside.
  7. When oil is hot, carefully add the tofu to the oil, turning the pieces so they brown evenly.
  8. Remove and rest for 5–10 minutes before serving.

Chicken version: Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. In a large bowl, mix the chicken and some coconut milk and refrigerate overnight. Just before cooking, remove the chicken from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. prepare the mix and deep the chicken in it as you would for the tofu. Fry. Once the chicken is golden brown, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to drain. Set on baking trays and finish cooking in the oven for 30–35 minutes.


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