Tempe goreng, or fried tempeh, is one of the simplest and yet most delicious foods ever I’ve known. It makes a regular appearance at many Indonesians dining tables, and dearly reminds us of home when we’re overseas.
Indonesians love the humble tempeh — it is so commonplace that it is rarely given its due credit. Despite its ubiquity, it brings health benefits and emotional value for the society. As Indonesians, how many times have we complained about having to eat tempeh so often? Especially instead of other, more expensive meat dishes! And yet, when tempeh is missing from our lives, we miss it terribly, especially when we’ve emigrated. Then, tempeh suddenly becomes a treasure. We traverse great distances in our hunt for tempeh, and when we finally find it, it’s as if we’ve just struck gold.
The raw tempeh is spiced using garlic, coriander, turmeric and salt, and then deep fried until it turns golden brown. Because tempeh has a sponge-like texture, it absorbs all the spices. The result is a tasty, fragrant, garlicky chunk with a hint of coriander. It’s very delicious.
You can eat Tempe goreng with a whole bird’s eye chilli or chilli sauce/ketchup as a snack, or with steamed rice and sambal. You can also make the leftover tempe goreng into a fiery sambal, which I will feature in the future. Enjoy this wholesome dish anytime, any day.Print
Tempe goreng is a ubiquitous Indonesian dish served in every home, consisting of lightly-marinated tempeh that’s deep fried. It’s easy, tasty and vegan, and can be eaten as a snack or with rice.
- 300 gr tempeh
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 2 cm turmeric, peeled
- Salt to taste
- 50 ml water
- Cooking oil for deep frying
- Cut the tempeh into small slices, according to the size of your preference. Set aside.
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound into a fine paste: garlic, coriander, turmeric and salt.
- Add water to the garlic paste, mix thoroughly (if using a blender or food processor, blend all the spices and water together).
- Press the tempeh pieces lightly into the spice paste mix one by one, then marinate for about 5 minutes.
- Heat the cooking oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame.
- Fry the tempeh until it turns golden, around 3 minutes each side.
- Place the tempeh on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Transfer the fried tempeh onto a serving plate.
- Tempe goreng is one of the simplest tempeh dishes, and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans as it’s protein-rich and contains no animal product.
Keywords: Soy bean, fermented, protein, quick & easy, non-spicy, common ingredients