Tempeh is a soy based product, similar to tofu, that originated in Indonesia. Traditionally used as an alternate to meat by vegetarians, tempeh has a firm grainy taste that takes some getting use to. It is made from whole soybeans and has different nutritional and textural characteristics from tofu. Tempeh is a rich source of protein, fiber and vitamins. It can be found at health and speciality grocery stores, such as Whole Foods in the US.
Before cooking tempeh, you need to slice it and soak it in salt water or brine for a few minutes. Then use it for any recipe from tempeh pizza, burger, stew, chili, sandwich, stir fry, chips…the possibilities are endless!
Here is a recipe for an Indonesian style deep fried tempeh Go Eat Give volunteers learned to make at the Paon Bali Cooking School in Bali.
Deep Fried Tempeh in Sweet Soy Sauce
- 2 packets of tempeh
- 10 red chilies
- 5 tablespoons Indonesian sweet soy sauce, Kecap Manis
- 4 shallots
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 spring of onion
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- ¼ liter coconut oil for frying
- Salt and pepper
- Slice the tempeh into thin strips. Boil the coconut oil in pan, add the tempeh and deep fry until golden brown then remove and set aside.
- Slice the red chilies and remove their seeds. Slice the garlic, shallots, spring onion and red chilies; heat about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in another pan and sauté then until they are light brown.
- Add the deep fried tempeh to the pan of garlic, shallots, spring onions and chili and mix, adding the Kecap Manis and broken kaffir lime leaves. Stir well to coat tempeh in the sauce.
- Serve hot as a main course.