In Malay language and Indonesian; tauhu or tahu refers to 'tofu' and goreng indicates 'fried'. Tofu originated from China and brought to Southeast Asia by Chinese immigrants to the region. Its first arrival in Indonesia is estimated through the Khubilai Khan's army in Kediri at 1292. Fried tofu is consumed extensively in Asian cultures and has found its way into mainstream Western vegetarian diets.
In Indonesia, tahu goreng can be mildly fried or deep fried, plain or battered. In Indonesia, tahu goreng is usually eaten with sambal kecap a kind of sambal hot condiment made from kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and chopped chili peppers and shallots. Some variants might use peanut sauce with chili instead. Some variants are:
Tahu isi: (lit: filled tofu), probably the most popular variant of tahu goreng in Indonesia, tofu filled with bean sprouts, carrots and sometimes minced meat is battered and deep fried. It is commonly found sold by gorengan (Indonesian fritters) vendors. Commonly eaten with cabai rawit (bird's eye chili).
Tahu gunting: (lit: tofu cut with scissor), fried tofu in thick sweet and spicy peanut sauce, originated from Surabaya city, East Java.
Tahu telur: (lit: tofu with egg), with omelette, beansprout, peanuts, and lontong rice cake, served in thin sweet and sour soy sauce. Also originated from Surabaya city, East Java.
Tahu bulat (round tofu) or tahu bola also called bola-bola tahu (tofu balls): is a relatively new variant of fried tofu from Tasikmalaya. The tofu is mixed with seasoning and shaped in balls or rounded form, and later deep-fried in cooking oil.
Kupat tahu: (lit: ketupat with tofu), ketupat rice cake, beansprout, served in thick sweet and spicy peanut sauce, common throughout Java, however the most popular variant came from Kuningan, Magelang, Solo and Surabaya.