Tempeh, or Tempe in Javanese, is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. It is especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. It is made from soybeans, but tempeh is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fibber and vitamins compared to tofu, as well as firmer texture and stronger flavour. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine; some consider it to be a meat analogue. Even long before Westerners found and realized its rich nutritional value, tempeh was referred to as “Javanese meat.”
Tempe bacem is a traditional meal from Mataraman area, Central of Java. Actually bacem is a way to make the meal stay longer, in this case for tofu and tempe. They marinated them with spices then cook for sometime. Then you can store them in refrigerator and only fry them when you need it. Central Javanese meal is known with the sweetness in their taste. They like to add palm or brown sugar in their meal.
Category: Side dish/Tempe
Preparing time: 45 minutes
Servings for 2-4 people
- 250 g tempe, cut into 6 – 8 pieces
- 1 cm of galangal or 1 tablespoon of galangal powder
- 2 Salaam (Indian Bay Leaves) leafs (or substitutes with bay leaves)
- 250 ml thick coconut milk or 250 ml coconut water
- 250 ml water
- 4 shallots or half medium red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of coriander
- 1 teaspoon of tamarind(asem jawa)
- 2 tablespoon of palm sugar/brown sugar
- salt to taste
1. Grind or blend the spice paste.
2. Boil the coconut milk/coconut water together with tempe, galangal, Salaam leafs, and spice paste. Add the water and continue cooking until the spices and water are absorbed. Then cool them off.
3. Heat up 50 ml oil into deep frying pan and fry the tofu both sides, but don’t do it too much (too dry/crunchy).
4. Serve with green bird’s eyes chillies.