Lazy Home Cook
by Lazy Home Cook
2 servings
30 min

Deep-fried, crispy and caramelized Indonesian tempeh with a coating of spicy sweet soy (kecap manis) sauce. Fried tempeh in sweet soy sauce, also known as “ sambal goreng tempeh kering “, is full with flavor and has a little kick.

The fried and caramelized tempeh sticks are sweet and sticky from the delicious spicy sauce, and believe me guys…this Indonesian dish is worth every step of the recipe!

Many Indonesian tempeh recipes start with deep-frying the tempeh until golden brown, and then tossing them in a stew or sauce of choice.

If you are not familiar with tempeh: it’s made of fermented soybeans and is a traditional Indonesian food.

For more information check the original recipe on my website 


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Recipe details
  • 2  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 250 gr tempeh, thinly sliced, about 5 mm
  • 0,5 tsp galangal powder (a.k.a laos powder)
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste (Indonesian: asam Jawa)
  • 0,5 tsp terasi/belacan/shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp sambal of choice, i used ‘ brandal’ (sambal is an Indonesian chili sauce)
  • 1 tsp kecap manis
  • Sauce:
  • 100 ml water
  • 30 gr Indonesian palm sugar, I used the liquid type (Indonesian: gula djawa)
  • 15 gr granulated sugar

Heat enough oil in a frying pan/ skillet for deep frying. Deep fry tempeh until golden brown, drain on paper towel and set aside.
Heat oil over medium heat, add laos, tamarind, terasi, sambal, and stir-fry until fragrant.
Add kecap manis, stir and turn off heat.
Add tempeh sticks to the warm spice mixture, and mix to cover all tempeh with the spices. Set aside.
Now, add gula djawa, sugar and 100 ml water to a clean big wok or skillet and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and let it simmer. This way you’ll be more in control of the “caramelizing process”, because it goes relatively quick.
Many bubbles will be appearing, but wait until you start seeing about 5 to 6 bubbles at the same time, the size of 3 cm each (see photo on my website). *
Now, turn heat to medium/high, and add the tempeh mixture. Stir for 1 minute (not longer) until the tempeh is completely covered by the caramelized sugar**.
Remove from heat and let it cool a bit before serving.
  • * This step is very important, bubbles should not be too small but also not too big.
  • ** Don’t stir longer than 1 minute, if else caramel could burn.
Lazy Home Cook
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