Picture taken from airtanganliza blogspot here.
Her preparation of it though, differs slightly from cakapaje.
Mmmph. The picture above looks inviting enough to me. What, with sliced turnip, cucumber and beansprouts, stuffed into the tauhu and immersed in a sauce that must have been mixed with vinegar, grinded chili, and a sprinkle of sugar added, then chilled in the fridge to let the tauhu soak in the sauce, why, I can eat 4 or 5 of it in a single sitting. That is off course, as a side dish.
A tauhu sumbat to me, has to look bulging fat just like a pita bread kebab, and not like those normally sold at the stalls which looks like an undernourished tauhu laced with a sauce that is not only pale but thin as well. The very look of a good tauhu sumbat has to be tempting enough for one to have eat it as a main dish. This, can be especially true if one is a vegie lover like that cakapaje bloke is. Then again, he's also a meat lover and just about anything halal that can be loved. But that, is another story.
Anyway, the tauhu sumbat we know off now, has not always been this way. It has, over time, evolved from who-knows-when-or-what. Back sometime in the mid of last century and in certain parts of Johor, tauhu sumbat had only the cucumber and beansprouts stuffed into it, and was eaten not with the sauce we see today, but with the ever lovable kicap. Over time, who knows who, how, or why, some people experimented with different kinds of sauce. Thus the sauce we see today is the labour of some unsung food heroes who, for the sake of wanting to eat something different and nicer, went against the norm of the day.
Now, since we are on the subject of tauhu sumbat, or rather the word 'sumbat', it reminds me of the balik kampung rush which is expected to take place in about 3 weeks from now.
Each year, Muslims and non-Muslims take the opportunity of the Eid to either return to their hometown, or take a break from their daily schedules. The same thing also happens with the Chinese New Year Celebration. While many would drive or fly, most would take the express buses, eventhough many do own vehicles. They do it simply to avoid the traffic congestion on the highways, namely the North-South Highways which at times can stretch kilometers long. Several past travels to Melaka during this time, the snarls actually can stretch from Pedas, N9, right to the toll gates of Alor Gajah, Melaka. And the return trip would normally see a slow procession all the way to Seremban and sometimes, right up to Nilai Interchange. Perhaps, the highway authorites and concessionaire learned their business from the old mini-buses operators that used to ply the roads of KL: "Masuk! Masuk lagi!". In other words, they sumbat as many business in to the brim. People like you and I, we are just business to them. And the gomen, the supposedly authority of the land, looks the other way or plain do not know the trials the people have to put up with in wanting to spend Raya with their loved ones. Then again, how could they - the gomen - know, when they are chauffered around complete with police escorts upfront who clears the road for the gomen's car.
Each year too, the news would air stories about how commuters are cheated when the ticket they bought are found to be worthless as the bus, and the company selling the tickets are just non-existent! After about 2 decades, the gomen still seem helpless to put a stop to such connivery. To make matter worse, scoundrels would surely add the petrol surchage which the gomen have allowed the operators to charge the public, in lieu of the increment in ticket price they seek. Whether by the name of surcharge or increment, its still the public who have to fork out the extra ringgit. And what was it that the gomen and FOMCA are encouraging the public to use...Public what? And we have not even begin with the condition and safety of the buses, nor the deplorable conditions of the stations, where many time than not, the public are made to inhale the fumes coming out of the exhaust pipes of the buses. A case in point here would be Pudu Raya. But oops, I better stop now before I sumbat many more things which can either be related or not. Furthermore, the topic is about tauhu sumbat.
Say, did I tell you about a variant of the tauhu sumbat? No? Well, its called Tauhu Bakar.