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Tempeh Me Goreng -deep fried tempeh in sweet soy sauce

This was the recipe that introduced me to the wonderful world of tempeh and started the seed that would eventually lead to us starting Pura Tempeh Co.

After a particularly long 5 month Hokkaido winter, and in dire need of some sun, Emily and I took a trip to Indonesia in 2016. Whilst there we enrolled at a cooking class in Ubud run by the indomitable Puspa, an Indonesian matriarch with a booming voice that we often still affectionally mimic whilst cooking in our tiny Niseko kitchen.

As we stood in Puspa's kitchen, she laid a block of this most Indonesian of produce in front of each of us and taught us how to cut and prepare it for frying. One of the greatest things about traveling are those moments where you encounter things so utterly new to you that you feel like an explorer of old. This trip had already contained many firsts for us : our first time crossing the equator, our first night spent in a tree house suspended above jungle, our first time in that particular biome and where we were startled awake by the piercing alien screams of the teeniest tiniest lizards. For me, handling that block of nutty soy beans woven in a brilliant white mat of mycelium joined that list of firsts.

After eating the end result of this recipe, we looked at each other and immediately asked the same question - how do we make this back home? Below is the recipe and if any of you are traveling to Bali and Ubud we heartily recommend Puspa's cooking class which can be found at

Serves 4-6


2 packets of Pura Tempeh

10 red chilies

5 tablespoons of Indonesian sweet soy sauce, Kecap manis - home made recipe coming soon if this isn't available in your area

4 shallots

8 cloves of garlic

1 spring onion

5 Kaffir lime leaves

1/4 litre coconut oil for frying


1. Slice tempeh into thin strips. Bring coconut oil to boil in a large pan, add the tempeh and fry until golden brown and then set aside

2. Slice the red chilies and deseed. Slice the garlic, shallots and spring onion thinly, keeping the sizes the same to cook evenly. Fry in 3 tablespoons of coconut oil until lightly browned.

3. Add the tempeh to this pan and mix with the garlic, chili and shallots. Remove the central spine of the lime leaves, roughly chop and add to the pan. Sauté together on a medium heat. Coat well in Kecap manis, turn the heat down and warm through

4. Serve hot as a main course

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