Decided to give it a try at Malay food stall, it's usually fried with tau kwa, long beans, ikan bilis in sambal. My very first try, I was hooked! Love the texture, slightly crunchy on the outside and firm texture inside, with a distinct earthy bean taste. From then on, I would order this dish whenever I dine at Malay/Indonesia food stalls.
It has never occurred to me to try cooking it at home and AFF Indonesia provided this opportunity to give it a try. So this was actually my first time buy the little packets :p The kakak at my nearby wet market is very friendly and told me that if I need any ingredients to cook Indonesian dishes, just ask her!
Here were the main ingredients - tempe, palm sugar, galangal, lime, chilli padi, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, garlic and red onions. The recipe calls for Indonesia bay leaf also known as salam but I decided to use normal bay leaf since I have a bottle in the pantry.
One important component of the recipe, Kecap Manis which is sweet dark soy sauce! I came to know that this particular brand Bango is very popular in Indonesia. Another household brand is ABC.
Tempe Manis Pedas (Sweet & Spicy Tempe)
(recipe adapted from Sajiansedap.com)
- 3 packets tempe, cut into 3x1cm strips
- 1/2 pc black tau kwa (optional), cut into cubes
- 1 stalk long bean (optional), cut into 2-3cm length
- 2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 chilli padi, thinly sliced (original normal large red chilli)
- 1 bay leaf (I use normal bay leaf instead of Indonesia bay leaf - salam)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, tear into big pieces, removing bone/stem
- 1cm galangal, grated
- 1 Tbsp kecap manis
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 25g palm sugar or gula melaka, shaved
- 1 Tbsp water
- Juice from 1 lime
- Oil for deep frying
- Heat pot with oil on medium low heat. Deep fry tempe till golden brown, tau kwa till crispy and long bean very briefly (5 secs). Drain on kitchen towel and set aside.
- In a frying pan, add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil on medium low heat, saute onion, garlic, chilli padi, bay leaf, lime leaves and galangal till fragrant.
- Once onion turns soft and translucent, add kecap manis, salt, palm sugar and water. Stir well with the ingredients (from step 2).
- Add tempe, tau kwa and long beans (from step 1). Toss to mix well with ingredients and sauce. Cook till sauce is reduced.
- Add lime juice and toss briefly.
- Serve warm with rice.
I love this dish very much!! It's spicy (from chilli padi), sweet (from kecap manis and palm sugar) and tangy (from lime juice). The sauce was perfect with tempe and the onions, and rice as well. This dish/recipe is definitely a keeper and I believe I'm going to cook tempe more often now.