Sambal Tempe: Mashed Tempeh Sambal (Vegan)

This vibrant dish, full of flavour, consists of fried tempeh coarsely mashed with spices. The freshly pounded hot chillies and garlic lend strength and character to this recipe.

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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.

Indonesia is the land of sambal, and anything can be turned into fiery, delicious sambal to bring more excitement to the dining table. The Sambal has indeed become an obsession for many and without it, meals are bland and the thrill of dining is gone.

Quoting the famous Mr Sambalus Saucehead, “The sambal beckons, in all its forms and colours…An addiction, a fiery obsession…The volcanoes of Indonesia, the bottomless pit of my stomach.” 

This beautiful quote reminds us of the importance of sambal in our culinary lives. Sambal gives an oomph factor which awakens the senses, multiplies our food enjoyment and brings satisfaction. And for the sake of everyone’s happiness, the Cook Me Indonesia team promises to share many more sambal recipes to spice up every single meal. There is always a special sambal to go to for every dish. Do remember to regularly check our blog so you won’t miss every single new recipe, especially the sambal recipes!


Sambal tempe is a scrumptious sambal made of fried tempeh, chilli and garlic. It’s the perfect solution if you have leftover fried tempeh that you want to share with the whole family. The dish is very easy to make and the recipe is basically a combination of fried tempeh and sambal bawang. For more information about sambal bawang, subscribe to our mailing list to receive our exclusive e-cookbook, Sambals & Sauces, which has 11 irresistible sambal recipes, including sambal bawang.

Sambal tempe is vibrant and full of flavour. Just look at that mouthwatering chunky texture with tantalizing brilliant red chilli flakes popping out among coarsely mashed tempeh pieces. The freshly pounded hot chillies and garlic lend strength and character to the delicate fried tempeh. Savoury, fiery and garlicky, sambal tempeh will definitely liven up your dining sensation.

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Sambal Tempe: Mashed Tempeh Sambal (Vegan)

Sambal Tempe: Mashed Tempeh Sambal (Vegan)

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Sauces & Sambals
  • Method: Pounding
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


This delicious dish, consisting of fried tempeh coarsely mashed with chillies and garlic, is a quick and easy meal that is both nutritious and addictive.


  • 100 gr tempeh
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies
  • 1 big red chilli
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • Mushroom stock powder (optional)


  1. Deep fry the tempeh until golden brown (around 3 minutes each side), set aside.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle, pound into a fine paste: chillies, garlic, salt and mushroom stock powder.

    pound into a fine paste

  3. Add the fried tempeh.

    Add the fried tempeh

  4. Coarsely crush all the ingredients together.

    Coarsely crush

  5. Toss all the ingredients until they are well mixed. 
  6. Serve immediately.

    Sambal tempe is ready


  • The fried tempeh in this recipe is made using fresh tempe. Leftover fried tempeh can also be used instead.
  • The amount of chillies can be adjusted. For a spicier sambal, use more bird’s eye chillies, and for less spicy, replace the bird’s eye chillies with big red chillies.

Keywords: Vegan, spicy, quick and easy, common ingredients

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  1. This is a really easy yet incredibly satisfying recipe – for one, it doesn’t use shallots so much less peeling and crying involved 😉

  2. Xin Wei recommended this to me! it’s so comforting and delicious, just with white rice and some quick veg. the best things are simple. living in berlin, I’m so happy that the asian corner shop down my street has good quality tempeh. thank you so much for sharing this recipe.


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