Deep Fried Tempeh in Sweet Soy Sauce

tempeh1 tempeh

Heading into Week 4 of the Indonesian Cuisine Series, we’ve made it onto a recipe that I very much adore: Deep Fried Tempeh. If you asked me how healthy this recipe is, I don’t think I’d want to answer you (Scratch that: I know I don’t want to) – but damn: it’s good. Tempeh is a form of tofu, so this recipe is vegetarian and technically vegan. Unfortunately I didn’t get to work on a lot of the prep for this recipe, so I don’t have unique insight into how the tempeh feels in the oil – but I can tell you it tasted absolutely delicious. While I could imagine serving this dish as an actual meal, it was probably better to just snack on and pop some pieces of sweet-soy-sauce glazed tempeh and pretend like I was eating pure protein (NOT).


  • 2 packets of tempeh
  • 10 red chilis
  • 5 tbsp Indonesian (or not) sweet soy sauce, Kecap Manis
  • 4 shallots
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 1/4 lt coconut oil or frying
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Slice the tempeh into thin strips, boil the coconut oil – add the tempeh and deep fry until brown: remove and set aside
  2. Slice the chilis and remove seeds: slice the garlic, shallots onion and chilis: heat some coconut oil in the pan and sauté until light brown
  3. Add the tempeh to your mix – and add in the sweet soy sauce and lime leaves (if you have them) – stir well and snack on.

Snack on is right. Three instructions may seem a bit obnoxious, but honestly – it’s all there. Deep-fry, prep and sauté : Ta-Da! Shelby and I absolutely adored this and snacked on it throughout the rest of the class. That’s right, not the eating portion of our class, but the actual cooking and doing-things section. Can I see myself making this on a normal day? No, not really. Admittedly, the idea of deep-frying anything on a normal day seems minutely excessive. Alternatively, picture this: Dinner Party on a Saturday night with 5 or 7 of your closest friends, and you bring out a tasty snack dish for the opening instead of the usual cheese (Not to disparage cheese). Um. Yes.

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