Indonesian fried tempeh recipe
Deep-fried, crispy and caramelized Indonesian tempeh with a coating of spicy sweet soy (kecap manis) sauce. Fried tempeh in sweet soy sauce, also known as “ sambal goreng tempeh kering “, is full with flavor and has a little kick. The fried and caramelized tempeh sticks are sweet and sticky from the delicious spicy sauce, and believe me guys…this Indonesian dish is worth every step of the recipe!
Many Indonesian tempeh recipes, like Sayur Oblok Oblok, start with deep-frying the tempeh until golden brown, and then tossing them in a stew or sauce of choice. Some people decide to skip the last part and simply eat the deep-fried tempeh sticks with a little bit of salt. One of my favorite tempeh recipes without any doubt is this sambal goreng tempeh kering recipe. Especially if you are new to tempeh, this is an amazing way to try it!
If you are not familiar with tempeh: it’s made of fermented soybeans and is a traditional Indonesian food. Nowadays it became popular outside of Indonesia too and is used by many, especially to make vegetarian dishes.
You may be able to find tempeh in your regular supermarket in the fridge section (often sold next to tofu). You could also try to find it in the grocery stores that specialize in selling organic food or in healthy food stores.
Anyway, once you’ve got your hands on the tempeh, you can start cooking this delicious Indonesian ” sambal goreng tempeh kering ” recipe. I’m sure you’ll love it!
Fried tempeh in sweet soy sauce - sambal goreng tempeh kering
Deep-fried, crispy and caramelized Indonesian tempeh with a coating of spicy kecap manis (sweet soy) sauce. Fried tempeh in sweet soy sauce, also known as “ sambal goreng tempeh kering “, is full with flavor and has a little kick. The tempeh sticks are also sweet and sticky from the delicious sweet soy sauce. Yield: 2 servings
- 250 gr tempeh, thinly sliced, about 5 mm
- 0,5 tsp galangal powder (a.k.a laos powder)
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (Indonesian: asam Jawa)
- 0,5 tsp terasi/belacan/shrimp paste
- 1 tsp sambal of choice, i used ‘ brandal’ (sambal is an Indonesian chili sauce)
- 1 tsp kecap manis
- 100 ml water
- 30 gr Indonesian palm sugar, I used the liquid type (Indonesian: gula djawa)
- 15 gr granulated sugar
- Heat enough oil in a frying pan/ skillet for deep frying. Deep fry tempeh until golden brown, drain on paper towel and set aside.
- Heat oil over medium heat, add laos, tamarind, terasi, sambal, and stir-fry until fragrant.
- Add kecap manis, stir and turn off heat.
- Add tempeh sticks to the warm spice mixture, and mix to cover all tempeh with the spices. Set aside.
- Now, add gula djawa, sugar and 100 ml water to a clean big wok or skillet and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and let it simmer. This way you’ll be more in control of the “caramelizing process”, because it goes relatively quick.
- Many bubbles will be appearing, but wait until you start seeing about 5 to 6 bubbles at the same time, the size of 3 cm each (see photo). *
- Now, turn heat to medium/high, and add the tempeh mixture. Stir for 1 minute (not longer) until the tempeh is completely covered by the caramelized sugar**.
- Remove from heat and let it cool a bit before serving.
* This step is very important, bubbles should not be too small but also not too big.
** Don’t stir longer than 1 minute, if else caramel could burn.
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