Soy Tempe and Peanuts (Tempe Kecap)

The third nasi uduk side dish that I made was crunchy tempe glazed with sweet soy sauce. I make so many dishes with tempe, and it’s actually surprising to me that not a lot of people are familiar with this wonderful ingredient – it’s basically fermented soybean, being held together into a block by strands of fungi. It may sound gross, but if done properly, it can be fragrant, delicious and satisfying to vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves 5 (including nasi uduk and the rest of the side dishes)

The ingredients you need to make soy tempe:

1 block of tempe

3 tbsp cooked peanuts (fried or baked)

1 white onion

5 tbsp Sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking oil

If you can’t find sweet soy sauce you can substitute it with regular soy sauce and palm sugar, and if you still can’t find palm sugar, you can use brown sugar too. The peanuts in this recipe is optional, so you can totally skip it if you’re allergic – I just like the texture and flavor it brings to the whole dish.


Steps to make soy tempe:

  1. Cut tempe into rectangular pieces (around the size of a thumb) and fry them until golden brown and crispy.
  2. On another pan, caramelize a thinly sliced onion with a dash of cooking oil. Add some salt to fasten the process, while adding a bit of water once in a while to prevent burning.
  3. Add in around 5 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce (you can add more or less, depending on how you like it) and mix well with your onion. Let it caramelize further.
  4. Add in the fried tempe and peanuts. Coat every edge with the sauce and cook until it dries up.
  5. Take off heat and let it rest. After a while the sauce will start to harden and the tempe will become extra crispy from the sauce. Serve with nasi uduk and other side dishes.



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