In this Balinese lunch dish, tempeh—fermented soybean cake—is fried until golden and then tossed in a fiery tomato-and-chile sauce. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story Tempting Tempeh.
- 1⁄2 cup canola oil
- 1 lb. plain tempeh, cut into 1/2″ x 1″ pieces, 1/2″ thick
- 1⁄2 tsp. Indonesian shrimp paste
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 Holland chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 2 small red Thai chiles, stemmed
- 1 plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tsp. kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Heat 1⁄3 cup oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry tempeh until golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tempeh to paper towels to drain; discard oil. Purée shrimp paste, garlic, chiles, tomatoes, and salt in a food processor until smooth. Add remaining oil to pan; heat over medium-high. Cook paste until fragrant, 12–15 minutes. Stir in reserved tempeh and the kecap manis; serve with rice, if you like.