One of the dishes I always miss from home is tempe manis. I remember fighting over this with my sister a lot. There are many versions of tempe manis out there, some are much simpler than this one, but this recipe truly brings me back to my childhood. It’s a little sweet, it’s a little bit spicy and has all the right flavors of spice and the goodness of Indonesia.
Tempe is essentially partially fermented soya bean cake. It’s all vegetarian and in the western world it has establish itself as a meat substitute. Usually we eat tempe manis as a side dish in a nasi campur but you can eat it as it is as a snack or with rice. Tonight we had it with a tempe and bean curry. Picture at the bottom.
Feeds 2 as a large side dish, make twice as much for a main. If it’s too much, it can be easily stored in the fridge and reheated.
250 gr tempe
2 shallots, halved and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 long red chilies(or 2 if youlike it hot) , deseeded and finely sliced
1.5 cm ginger root, very finely chopped
3 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soya sauce)
1 heaped teaspoon, ground coriander seeds
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
50 ml water
1. Fry the tempe in enough oil (just submerged) till golden, not too dark. When golden brown, take the tempe out, throw off most of the oil, keep 2-3 tablespoons.
2. In 2-3 tablespoons of oil, fry up the shallots, garlic, chili, ginger, and ground coriander seeds, until soft and fragrant. Do not let it brown.
3. Add the water, kecap manis, sugar and salt. Let it simmer till it reduces by half.
4. Add the fried tempe, toss to coat with the sauce. Continue cooking till the tempe is nicely glazed.
5. Don’t forget, taste and season with salt to your liking.
6. Eat and bask in heavenly satisfaction. 😉