Greetings from The Saturday Kitchen again. Still finding inspiration from my recent trip to Bali, and realising I should eat more vegetables than meat, here’s another quick dish which finds its origins in Indonesia.

Tempeh is fermented soy beans, often sold in rectangular cakes wrapped neatly in banana leaves and paper. It is pretty substantial and meaty, so it’s suitable for hungry vegetarians. When you first unwrap it, it’s a soft cake covered in a downy white coating a little like that of brie cheese, under which you’ll find the fermented soy beans. When cooked, it has a nutty, mild flavour with a slightly astringent hint of aftertaste. It’s a whole food, and a healthy ingredient to add to your kitchen pantry.

Tempeh in Sweet Soy Sauce

Serves 4


If you like a healthier take on this, bake it at 180C for about 20-25 minutes, instead of frying it.

4 packets of tempeh, sliced into 1-cm pieces
1 Tbsp sweet kicap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce)
1 Tbsp Korean chilli sauce (gochujang)
1 heaped tsp brown sugar (or gula melaka)
1 shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 handful coriander, chopped
3 stalks spring onion, chopped
1 large green chilli, sliced
1/2 tsp finely chopped bunga kantan (torch ginger flower), optional
Salt to taste

• Fry tempeh in a generous amount of oil until it is cooked and slightly crisp. Drain and set aside.
• Remove all the oil except for 1 Tbsp, and saute garlic and shallots until fragrant.
• Add kicap manis, chilli sauce and brown sugar and mix until it is combined.
• Add in the friend tempeh and toss to coat. Add some salt it it’s not salty enough for you.
• Transfer it to a plate, and top with coriander, spring onions, green chilli and bunga kantan if using.
• Toss before serving, with white rice.


4 thoughts on “The Saturday Kitchen – Tempeh in Sweet Soy Sauce

  1. I don’t know what most of those ingredients are, but you’ve educated me about tempeh and I think I’ll pick some up next time I’m in the supermarket and see if I can make something vaguely similar to what I see here. Thank you for sharing this!


    1. Hi Kathryn
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment. You’re right — I should explain what some of these ingredients are & will fix that right away. I hope you’ll find tempeh in your supermarket, and have fun with this recipe. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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