Introduction: Tempeh Kering (Vegetarian Indonesian Side-dish)

When I first ate this dish at an Indonesian restaurant I simply had to know how to make this amazing dish. But it wasn't that simple to get this recipe! It took me years of begging cooks, bribing waiters and a lot of trial and error. Mostly error... But all my efforts have not been in vain. I found it, and perfectionised it! The left-overs are good on bread too! If you like it spicy with sambal!

Step 1: Ingredients

  • 400 gram tempeh
  • 1 chilipepper (If you like spicy you can use more)
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • 3 onions
  • 5 tablespoons of kecap manis
  • 4 cm laos root
  • 3 tablespoons Gula Jawa (But brown sugar works just as well)
  • A half teaspoon of tamarind paste
  • Sunflower oil

Cooking gear

  • Deepfryer (Or a pan wich you can use as a deepfry pan)
  • Blender (Or a mortar and pestle, but that is a lot of work)

Step 2: Cut the Tempeh

Cut the tempeh in small strips. Length about 3 cm (1 inch) and the thickness about 0,5 cm (0,2 inch).

Step 3: Deepfry the Tempeh

Make sure the oil is hot enough. You can check this by using a dry wooden spoon. Dip the spoon in the oil and if its begins to bubble the oil is hot enough.

Put the tempeh (in small baches) carefully in the oil and fry it till its golden brown. This will take about 4-5 minutes.

Deepfrying was for me the missing link, have you ever tried raw tempeh? I don't recommend it. Try it after the deepfrying, then it tastes already nice!

Put the deepfryed tempeh in a bowl lined with kitchenpaper. This can drain some of the excess oil.

Step 4: Prepare the Boemboe

Now we are going to make the boemboe. A boemboe is an Indonesian onion-based-spice-paste.

Remove the outer skin of the laos root and cut it roughly. Chop up the garlic and the onion (PROTIP: mash the garlic to make the skin come off) (This can also help to relief some anger).

Step 5: Blend

Put the laos, onion and garlic in the blender and blend till it's smooth!

Step 6: Fry the Boemboe

Heat 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil in the pan and add the boemboe. Fry it untill it's golden brown. When the boemboe sticks to the pan you can add some water.

Step 7: Add the Chillipepper

Chopp up the chilipepper and add this to the golden brown boemboe. Also add the tamarind paste. (I forgot to make a photo of this). Fry this for about 1 minute.

Step 8: Add the Tempeh

Add the tempeh and make sure the boeboe covers the tempeh. You can do this by stirring.

Can you already smell how good it's going to be?

Step 9: Add the Gula Jawa and the Kecap Manis

We're almost there!

Add the gula djawa (or the sugar) and let it caramelise for 2 minutes. Keep the heat low so it doesn't burn!

And at last add the kecap manis and let that caramelise too (for a minute or so)! Add extra according to taste!

Step 10: Enjoy!

Bon appetit!

You can also eat this dish with Indian food or whatever you like!

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