Indonesian Spiced Tempeh (Sambal Goreng)

    50 minutes

    This is an Indonesian dish traditionally served at Ramadan where tempeh is simmered in a flavourful sauce.

    40 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 500ml water + 2 teaspoons salt (to soak tempeh)
    • 250g tempeh, diced
    • 100ml oil (for frying tempeh, can be less or more)
    • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 5cm galangal
    • 2 shallots
    • 2 large red chillies
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 2 curry leaves (if available)
    • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
    • 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet dark soy sauce)
    • 3 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon salt

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Mix the water with the salt. Soak the tempeh for 5 minutes. Drain, heat in a wok the oil and fry the tempeh golden brown.
    2. Mix the tamarind paste with the 3 tablespoons water, pound or grind the galangal into a paste and finely mince the shallots, the red chillies and the garlic.
    3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok and fry the shallots, the garlic, the galangal and the curry leaves for 3 minutes. Then add the shrimp paste and the red chillies and fry for 1 minute.
    4. Add the kecap manis, palm sugar, tamarind water and the salt and let in simmer slowly for 2 minutes. Then add the tempeh and heat through.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Excellent way to do tempe. The nutty tempe taste mellows the strong, earthy, fishy shrimp paste. This is balanced with the sour tamarind and the sweet soy sauce. I did make substitutes: ginger for galangal, onions for shallots, and bay laurel for salam leaves. It's good stuff.  -  02 Jun 2013  (Review from Allrecipes Southeast Asia)


    I followed the recipe to the T and it came out too salty. Good, but salty. I would go easy on the salt next time I make this dish.  -  28 Dec 2015  (Review from Allrecipes Southeast Asia)