Tempeh Goreng is a sweet and spicy Indonesian side dish. The first time I tried it was at a friend’s house at a dinner party. They had bought it ready made at an Asian shop. 2 weeks ago I had a dinner party with the usual suspects (including Miss TokoNom) in The Hague and we made our own Tempeh Goreng. Now I did chop some ingredients, but I didn’t remember all that went in. So along with a vague memory and some online inspiration I made my own.
About the ingredients: traditionally palm sugar, kaffir lime leaf and salam leaf is used. Since I didn’t want to buy ingredients that I wouldn’t use most of the time I used golden caster sugar, lemon juice and a bay leaf instead. I’ve also seen recipes using lemongrass, but since I’m not a huge fan of it I left it out.
Cut the tempeh in thin slices and then into long match sticks.
Deep fry these at around 180C/350F until golden and crisp. Drain onto paper towel and set aside.
Pour a bit of oil in a wok or large pan and cook the onion, garlic, chillies, galangal, bay leaf, shrimp paste for 10 minutes on low to medium heat.
I couldn’t find tamarind paste and used a tamarind liquid that is the same as tamarind paste dissolved in water. Use a tablespoon of tamarind paste dissolved in about half a cup of warm water or use 4 tbs of tamarind liquid.
Add the tamarind, sugar, squeeze of lemon juice to the wok and let this bubble on a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure the sugar doesn’t burn. Turn off the heat, throw in the fried tempeh matchsticks and stir carefully to not break the tempeh too much. The tempeh should get a nice coating of the sauce.
Leave to cool and let the flavours infuse. Before serving you can take out the bay leaf and pieces of galangal.
Very nice as a side dish to an Asian meal. Not too difficult to make at all. You can make it as sweet and spicy as you want. Apparently if you store it nicely seeled, you can keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.