Monday, July 21, 2008


The May-June issue of Flavours magazine ran an article on Tempe. I love eating tempe sold at the local Malay stalls. My favorite of all is the fried tempe with peanuts and ikan bilis (anchovies).

I tried this recipe out and it was pretty good. It's got a more interesting flavour than the ones bought from the stalls because it calls for kaffir lime.

I didn't have time to take photo of this morning's bento because Hubs and #1 were arriving this morning after the two kids were sent to school and everything was a little chaotic. We had "Bak Kut Teh" for breakfast as soon as they touched down. Had to satisfy their desperate need for some local food!

Anyway, this recipe is for Mihoo. We had a little conversation about tempe and this is an interesting and flavourful dish. I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I didn't want to cook so much and I improvised. However the recipe I'm providing is exactly from the magazine.

Tempe Goreng Kering
(Tempe fried dry - direct translation from Bahasa Malaysia to English)

The combination of crunchy tempe and peanuts in a sticky, tangy sauce makes an excellent snack or accompaniment to rice (4 to 6 servings).

500ml cooking oil
100 g skinned peanuts
2 packets (300g) tempe, sliced thinly
3 shallots, sliced thinly

spice paste
80g tamarind paste, mixed with 150ml water to extract juice
150g palm sugar (I used brown sugar)
2 teaspoons salt
5 cm galangal, skinned and julienned (I didn't have this so I omitted it)
15 bird's eyes chillies, sliced (I used dried chillies)
15 kaffir lime leaves, sliced

To deep fry peanuts, tempe and shallots: Heat wok over medium heat. Add oil and deep fry peanuts until golden. Remove and drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil. In the remaining oil, deep fry tempe until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels. Fry the shallots until golden brown, remove and set aside.

To prepare spice paste: Remove most of the oil from the wok, leaving about 2 tablespoon. Add in tamarind juice, palm sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, add galangal, bird's eye chillies and kaffir lime leaves. Leave to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until mixture thickens.

To finish: Toss the fried peanuts, tempe and shallot crisps in the spice paste; stir until well mixed. Remove from wok and leave to cool. Serve as a snack or with white rice. This can be stored in an airtight container for about a week.

The final product.



Emily said...

Hi Bento Pet! Thanks for another recipe. Dont remember cooking Tempe at home before. Will certainly give it a try.

Visited Mihoo's site but she has no comments option. I do wonder what sizes are those round steel containers she used in some of her bentos. Looks like our tiffin carrier!

Bento Pet said...

emily: Yes, they are tiffin carriers! Whilst in some parts of the world they are something of an 'interest', closer home it's quite 'ordinary'.
I like her Bento because they look like our "chap fan" and very edible! Hahaha! Wish our local "chap fan" was so enticing!
Her magewappa bento box is intriguing though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bento Pet!
I'm quite happy for your recipe.
I will try it.
Thank you!

Emily, I really love my Tiffin.
But could you tell me what is chap fan?
For your reference, the size of my tiffin is 10cm diameter.
They are available through internet or specific stores.
As far as I know, 2 brands are available in here in Japan, "Zebra" and "Seagull".
Mine is "Zebra".
check this blog
I think her bento photo is always great.

Bento Pet said...

mihoo: You're welcome! We too have the Zebra tiffin carriers here in Malaysia.

BTW, "chap fan" is basically mixed rice which is sold in what we call 'coffee shops'.

The chap fan vendor cooks about 20 different types of dishes and you can pick and choose the dish that you want to eat with your white rice.

It could be a chicken dish with two veggies or two meat dishes and one veggie or something like that.

The cost of the meal depends on the number of dishes that you request to be placed on your rice plate.

I referred to your Bento as chap fan because they look deliciously edible, no fancy accessories and stuff. LOL!


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