What is tempeh? It is a fermented-pressed bean curd cake with whole soybeans. Tempeh is one of the most nutritious soy-based food products originated from our country. Although I have always found it really strange since soy is not really our country’s produce – most (if not all) of them are imported, no one can deny if it is Indonesian’s staple food item. It is sold in bars wrapped in plastic packaging. Tempeh is very affordable and requires not much work or time to be cooked. Just simple preparation and it can be consumed with plain steamed rice. It is the most down-to-earth food item, packed with calcium and protein.
And there aren’t many ways that I know of preparing tempeh. It is always deep-fried, deep-fried and deep-fried. One of my favorites is deep-fried with caramelized sugar and hint of hot chili. I would try to slice the tempeh as thinly and evenly as humanely possible. It should be fried till crispy and then mixed with caramelized sugar on stove top. Delicious!
Serve it with steamed rice or coconut rice (recipe here) or as snacks.
Spicy Tempeh Chips
250 grams tempeh (Indonesian soybean cake), sliced thinly
1 cup cooking oil
5 grams ginger, sliced thinly
5 red chilies, sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Heat oil in a wok and deep-fry tempeh slices till dry and crunchy, about 8 to 10 minutes
Remove some of the oil and leave only two tablespoons of oil in the wok, add ginger and stir-fry till fragrant
Add chilies, lime juice and sugar. Cook till the sugar melted and becomes bubbly over high heat
Toss in tempeh chips and cook for a couple of minutes till chips covered with caramelized sugar
Remove from heat and serve with rice
Step by Step
Deep-fry the chips with lots of oil till golden color and crunchy
Stir-frying chili, ginger and caramelizing sugar