Food & dining

Recipe for Indonesian glazed tempeh

Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe

Serves 4

Tempeh orek, which translates as stir-fried tempeh, is common in Indonesia. Traditionally fried with aromatics and finished with a sweet soy sauce called kecap manis, this adaptation of Retno Pratiwi’s recipe uses molasses, soy sauce, and seasoned rice vinegar. For a more authentic version of this classic dish, add 7 kaffir lime leaves, and use ½ cup kecap manis (instead of molasses and soy sauce), and galangal in place of ginger. Pratiwi uses Lightlife tempeh. Serve with rice.

cup molasses
3tablespoons soy sauce
2teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
4tablespoons coconut oil
2packages Lightlife tempeh, cut into
½-inch cubes
Salt, to taste
2shallots, thinly sliced
2cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1bird’s eye chile or another small hot chile, sliced thinly, or more to taste
1piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and bruised
1stalk lemongrass, peeled, trimmed, bruised and tied in a knot
Rind of ½ lime
1tomato, cut into wedges
½teaspoon salt
2tablespoons water

1. In a bowl, combine the molasses, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Stir well.

2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Add of the tempeh and cook for 4 minutes or until the cubes start to change color. Transfer to the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Cook the remaining tempeh in the remaining oil in the same way. Salt each batch.


3. In the skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining
1 tablespoon coconut oil. Add the shallots, garlic, chile, ginger, lemongrass, and lime rind. Cook, stirring, for
4 minutes. Add the tomato and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the molasses mixture and water.

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4. Add the tempeh and mix gently. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly into a glaze. Serve with rice. Adapted from Retno Pratiwi