Tahu is the Indonesian word for tofu. And tempeh is the Indonesian word for tempeh! (duh!) Usually I have Tahu and Tempeh on a Tuesday, hence… #TahuTempehTuesday. Spread the word!
Tofu is a soybean product and made from condensed, unfermented soy milk that’s been processed into solid white blocks. The cool thing about tofu is that It’s versatile and act like sponges that soak up whatever liquid they are placed in.
Tempeh is also a soybean product and made directly from cooking and fermenting soybeans. It is actually invented in Java, Indonesia And for many there, part of their daily menu.
Tempeh has a chunky texture and a slightly nutty, mushroom-y flavor.
Because it is a fermented protein, tempeh is loaded with UMAMI, which gives it a savory meatiness. Because tempeh has a heartier taste, some people prefer to use it as meat substitute. Plain, it contains no salt, so it’s often marinated in soy sauce to heighten the meaty qualities.
Both tempeh & tofu are nutritious, high in protein & most of all: affordable.
I look for recipes that are QUICK and EASY – my two favorite words. This is an Indonesian inspired dish that fits the profile. This dish is called Tahu Tempeh Kecap Pedis or Tofu Tempeh with sweet and spicy glaze. It has some basic ingredients that can be easily sourced at your local supermarket. There are different variations with added ingredients like fermented shrimp paste and tamarind, to name a few. This recipe is suitable for vegetarians.
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 lime leaves, thinly sliced
6 red chilli peppers, thinly sliced (or 1 or 2 tablespoons of sambal oelek)
oil for frying
3 tbsp of sweet soy sauce
2 oz. water
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp of ground pepper
2 tsp granulated sugar
The first step is to lose the excess water in tofu, to not water down your dish. You do this by cutting the block of tofu in half horizontally, to create 2 thick slabs. Wrap each slab in a clean kitchen towel and place on a plate/cutting board. Place a second plate/cutting board on top of the tofu, then weigh it down with several heavy cans. Press in this manner for 30 minutes to drain water from the tofu and firm it up. Unwrap the tofu and cut each salt into 1/2 inch pieces, set aside.
First, dice your fresh tempeh into 1 inch pieces.
Heat the pot/wok of oil for deep-frying. Make sure there is at least 2 inches of oil. Wait until oil is hot.
Deep-fry tempeh in batches until golden brown and crispy. Scoop it up with strainer and drain on paper towel.
Dice tofu in one inch pieces.
Deep fry in cooking oil until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Heat two tablespoons of oil in pan over medium-high heat and sauté the shallots for three minutes.
Add the garlic and the lime leaves and stir for about two minutes.
Add water, sweet soy sauce (to taste), salt, ground pepper, granulated sugar, stir for one minute.
Add the tofu and tempeh and stir for about 3 minutes until sauce has thickened. Toss it well until the tofu and tempeh are well coated with the sauce.
Serve over steamed rice. For some crunch, serve with vegetable crisps and fresh cucumber sticks.
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