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Sweet & Crispy Tempeh

Sweet & Crispy Tempeh

If you have been following my recipes for a while, you know that I am a chili lover. I also happen to be a lover of Asian food, and this recipe here is inspired by my travels to Indonesia.

I am generally not a fan of soy products, but tempeh is a huge exception – I LOVE it. I love how crispy it can get, and this recipe is just amazing. Tempeh itself is fermented soybeans tightly pressed together – very high in protein and also has a lot of fiber. In short – healthy stuff!

While I can’t say that the sugar used in this recipe is the healthiest thing on earth, but a little bit of it doesn’t hurt you, and the flavor is worth not having a dessert after this meal. This sweet, sticky and spicy glaze is amazing, and turns a simple bowl of rice into something truly delicious. I served it with red whole grain rice this time, but every type of rice works well. I also added a simple sambal of more chili, and lemongrass, because, well, chili.

Sweet and Crispy Tempeh

Serves: 2

Cooking time: 30 minutes


10 oz tempeh

Coconut oil for frying

3 shallots

1 clove of garlic

½ tsp coriander seeds

2 red chilies

1 bay leaf

2 fresh kaffir lime leaves

A thumb-sized piece of fresh galangal

1 ½ oz palm sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp water


Cut the tempeh to small pieces. Heat up about ½ inch of coconut oil on the pan and fry the tempeh until golden from each side. Drain on kitchen paper.

Grind the shallots, garlic, and coriander seeds to a paste. You can use mortar and pestle for it, or take an easier route with a blender.

If there is still a lot of oil on the pan then drain it off so that you are left with about a tablespoon. Fry off the paste, chopped chili, bay leaf, thinly ribboned lime leaves and crushed galangal for 5 minutes, continually stirring until the whole kitchen smells fantastic. 

Add palm sugar, salt, tamarind paste, water, and soy to the pan and boil for a minute until everything is incorporated and glossy. Finally mix in the tempeh. 

Serve over rice. 

By Kadri Raig

Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves healthy food and cooking and for her, these two are often the same thing. Cooking meals from scratch, you know exactly what goes in it and even without holding back with sugar or fat we end up using a lot less compared to ready-made frozen stuff from the supermarket.

She does love to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here:

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