Kering Tempe: Glazed Fried Tempeh (Vegan)

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Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Kering tempe is a delicious, crispy tempeh dish featuring fried peanuts for extra crunch.

This was one of my staples during my university days, as kering tempe can be made in advance and then stored in a tight lid jar for a few days (no refrigeration needed). For busy students, this dish is perfect. It goes well with rice, it’s tasty, and it’s satisfying. To this day, I still can’t help myself from snacking on it. The mixture of crispy tempeh with peanuts, glazed in spiced palm sugar, is just hopelessly addictive. Kering tempe is also often included as one of the dishes accompanying nasi kuning, or yellow rice, served during communal feast. 

Kering in Bahasa Indonesia literally means dry. The dish gets its dry and crispy texture because the tempeh is deep fried until golden brown, and then tossed in spiced palm sugar in order to glaze it. Kering tempe is deliciously sweet and savoury, and the herbs make the dish quite aromatic. 


Kering tempe is simple to make, nutritious and is a great option for vegans. When you cook it, make sure to deep fry each ingredient separately, as each requires a different cooking time. Don’t forget to store it in a jar and close the lid tightly to keep it fresh and crisp.

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Kering Tempe: Glazed Fried Tempeh (Vegan)

Kering Tempe: Glazed Fried Tempeh (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Tofu & Tempeh, Snacks
  • Method: Deep fry
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


A delicious dish of crispy glazed tempeh and peanuts, perfect as a high-protein vegetarian snack. You can enjoy kering tempe over a few days, as it retains its crispiness when kept in a tight-lid jar, even without refrigeration.


  • 500 gr tempeh
  • 100 gr raw peanuts 
  • 2 big red chillies, sliced diagonally (cayenne pepper or curly red chillies if available)
  • 5 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pound into a paste 
  • 1 cm fresh galangal, thinly sliced
  • 1 Indonesian bay leaf (salam leaf)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 50 gr palm sugar, shaved
  • 1 tsp tamarind juice extract
  • Salt to taste
  • 50 ml water
  • Oil for frying


  1. Slice the tempeh into 2-inch matchstick pieces. Deep fry until crisp and golden. Set aside.Deep fry the tempe


  2. Deep fry the peanuts until golden, set aside.
  3. Deep fry the chillies briefly, around 1 minute, and set aside.
  4. Deep fry the shallots until golden and crisp, set aside.
  5. Deep fry the sliced garlic until golden, set aside.
  6. In a wok, heat 3 tbsp cooking oil on a medium flame.
  7. Saute the garlic paste until fragrant, around 2 minutes.
  8. Add the water, galangal, bay leaf, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, tamarind juice and salt.Add in the other herbs and spices


  9. Cook until the sauce thickens and caramelizes slightly, around 5 minutes.
  10. Add the tempeh and peanuts. Toss until the tempeh is well coated in the sauce and glazed.Add the tempeh and peanuts


  11. Turn off the heat. Kering tempe is ready to be served.


  • If available, cayenne pepper or curly red chillies work even better than big red chillies

Keywords: Peanuts, Vegan, Soy beans, crispy, crunchy

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