Tahok: A Soybean pudding and Ginger Soup for a Heartwarming Breakfast"A bowl of soybean pudding with ginger sauce is a welcoming breakfast menu in cold mornings. From its ingredients it is clear that this food contains highly nutritional. You can only find this rare comfort food in the Pasar Gede, Solo area. "
Published by : Farida - 15/10/2020 09:02 WIB
0 Minutes read.
Food is not just stuff we need to satisfy our hungry stomach. It is a part of culture closely integrated in society. History, natural conditions, as well as the customs and traditions of the people in an area are affecting the specialty foods in the area. For example, in coastal areas you will find lot of typical seafood-based foods. Likewise, in areas with a diversity of ethnic groups, the foods often representing two or more cultures. One of them is tahok, a specialty menu of Solo area which is currently difficult to find.
Initially, Tahok was a menu of Chinese community in the Chinatown area of Solo. Over time, this food is accepted by the local community and become one of the Solo specialty foods. Tahok comes from a Chinese word, namely tahoa, which consists of two syllables tao or teu and ha or hu. Tao or teu means soybeans while hoa or hu means crushed. So, tahoa means ‘crushed/mashed soybeans.’ Judging from the name, hence, tahok is a dish made from mashed green beans. At first glance, tahok looks like tofu but has a softer pudding-like texture and it melts in the mouth.
Tahok served with warm ginger sauce. The difference between the wedang jahe (ginger root) that we commonly enjoy in angkringan (traditional street food stall in Solo areas) and the ginger which is a tahok soup is its level of spiciness. The ginger in the tahok soup is less spicy, so children still can enjoy it. Ginger soup in tahok is made from brown sugar, roasted ginger, pandan leaves, and a little lemongrass. All are boiled in water. The purpose of using ginger is to disguise the characteristic smell of soybeans.
At first glance, the combination of soft soybean pudding and sweet fresh sauce looks uncomplicated. However, the making process is quite time consuming. It begins with soaking the soybeans for one night. Then, the soybeans are peeled and then milled until smooth. There is a traditional tool used for this purpose. This tool consists of two stone wheels that are stacked on top one another and connected to the axle on a wooden shaft as a spinner. The top stone wheel is concave in shape and has a small hole for the entry of soybeans to be milled. This soybean mill uses human power.
The process of milling soybeans produces white soybean pulp. The pulp is filtered for the juice which is then boiled. Once cooled, the soybean juice coagulates into pudding-like substance and be ready as tahok main ingredients.
Currently, tahok is an almost extinct specialty food, probably because there aren’t many young people in Solo familiar enough with the name again. The other reason is that there are not many sellers offering Tahok anymore. Despite the facts that tahok is a healthy food, you can only find a handful of tahok sellers around Pasar Gede Solo. Along with its refreshing taste, a bowl of warm ginger soup is also having many benefits for the body. Not surprisingly, tahok is often referred as breakfast menu when the weather is cold or when you catch a flu.
Interested in having a bowl of tahok? You can make it yourself at home. Here is the recipe.
Recipe of Tahok Solo
- 500 g soybeans
- 3000 cc water
- Hunkue/mung bean flour, as needed (optional)
- 250 g brown sugar
- 250 cc of water
- Ginger, as needed
- Pandan leaves
How to make:
- Soak the soybeans for one night, wash them thoroughly and then drain.
- Mill the soybeans with water until smooth.
- Strain the milled soybeans using a cloth, take the juice.
- Boil the juice.
- Add hunkue flour as needed (if you use it).
- Cool the tahok.
- Make ginger soup by boiling all the ingredients.
- Serve the tahok with the ginger soup.
- Enjoy while it hot.