Monday, February 11, 2008

Rob's Tempeh

I met Rob in Jakarta. We had loads of good times (although not too many of them involved food if I recall correctly...). Rob now lives in Melbourne with his partner Nikki and gorgeous daughter Zara whom sadly I still have not met but plan to very soon. After five years in Jakarta as a correspondent for The Straits Times he moved to Colombo, Sri Lanka and after a few years there he recently made the move to Melbourne.

In addition to being a writer and photographer, Rob is a super cook and has shared his recipe for tempeh and rice. Over to Rob:

I suppose my favorite ever thing to eat, and this can be blamed on my childhood, growing up in near poverty in East Java is tempeh and rice.

So here we go:

  • 500 gr tempeh
  • Coriander pods, a handful

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • Pinch of salt

  • Sweet soy sauce, or kecap manis, to taste

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Slice tempeh to around 0.5 cm thickness.
  2. Crush coriander pods, add garlic and salt, and crush some more (mortar and pestle or the javanese ulek-ulek would be great here). Add enough water to make a paste the consistency of thin, runny yoghurt.

  3. Marinate tempeh in coriander paste. Half an hour would be enough, but the longer you do, the more the flavors get absorbed.

  4. Heat about an inch of oil to near smoking point, and drop in the tempeh slices. You want the tempeh brown, but not burnt. Usually a minute each side for me. Drain tempeh well. You don't want them oily.

  5. Make rice.

  6. Place serving of rice on paper, drizzle with sweet soy sauce to taste, add tempeh slices, and voila.

I'm being serious. This is one of my favorite meals, ever.

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