Fried tempeh bowls

Fried tempeh bowls

fried tempeh bowls lunch

Hey guys, hope your week is peachy?! We’ve been blessed with beautifully sunny weather here in Bristol (it’s May so about time, eh?) this week and I found it extremely hard to get any work done as a result. This is when being one’s own boss gets hard sometimes. On one hand, you can simply say ‘I deserve some down time’ and sit in the garden smelling flowers all day, but if you continue doing that too often, you’ll find yourself with no business to speak of. Self-discipline is key and while I am normally okay with that, when the sun is shining so beautifully after so long, my self-discipline goes out of the window (literally). If not for the fact that I lost the ropes needed to hang up my hammock, I would be now swinging happily in it.

So after 2 full days of procrastination, I’ve finally had to buckle down and shoot some photos for you, so here goes. Today’s dish is inspired by a traditional Indonesian method of preparing tempeh known as ‘tempeh goreng’. Although it literally means fried tempeh, it is so much more than that. First, bite size pieces of tempeh get fried until golden and then get coated in a ludicrously delicious savoury caramel-like glaze, which makes the whole thing insanely addictive. Make sure you prepare your tempeh just before serving the dish or else I can guarantee that you’ll lose half of it to snacking… Or maybe it is just me and my extremely poor impulse control…

Speaking of which, I’ve decided that I need a little help in this department so I’ve installed a new app on my phone, which helps me track the amount of grazing I tend to do on a daily basis. I’ve only been logging all my food for a few days now, but it has already illuminated to me how much unnecessary food ends up in my stomach over the course of each day, just because I’m bored, frustrated or I don’t want something to go to waste. Now that I can see everything in black and white, I instantly feel a little bit more accountable. The thing is, I don’t go hungry or even deny myself a small treat daily, yet I find that I am simply making more considered choices when it comes to what I need to eat for sustenance or a little pleasure and what I tend to eat just because it’s within reach. It’s been very educational and I’m hoping to develop some new, better habits in the long run.

fried tempeh bowls tempeh prep

fried tempeh bowls tempeh fried glazed

fried tempeh bowls tempeh fried close up

fried tempeh bowls

fried tempeh bowls macro

15 min
15 min
15 min
15 min

  • 200 g / 7 oz tempeh
  • 2-3 tbsp high smoke oil* (I like rice bran oil)
  • salt
  • 2 small shallots, very finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, minced well (optional, add more ginger if unavailable)
  • 1½ tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1-2 tsp sambal oelek, adjust to taste (or Sriracha)
  • 4 tsp coconut sugar (or any other sugar)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice


  • 195 g / 1 cup rice, cooked
  • 200 g / 7 oz broccoli, stir-fried or steamed
  • favourite pickles (optional)
  • fresh coriander, for serving
  • green part of spring onion / scallion, sliced thinly
  1. Tear tempeh into small-medium chunks with your hands. You could also cube it, but I prefer the organic shape and it’s easier to make too.
  2. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan. Once the oil is hot, add tempeh chunks and allow it to fry (without stirring) until browned on one side. Once golden-brown on one side, give it a stir and allow to brown on the other side. Lift out of the oil with a fork or a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and set aside.
  3. Use leftover oil (or add another tablespoon of oil if needed to the same pan) to fry diced shallot for about 2-3 minutes on low heat – until translucent.
  4. Add garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. Sauté on a very low heat, stirring frequently.
  5. Next, add in sambal oelek, coconut sugar and lime juice. Allow the sauce to bubble a little on a low heat. Season with salt.
  6. Place fried tempeh in the sauce and stir well to coat.
  7. Serve with rice, broccoli and pickles. Garnish with fresh coriander and the green part of the spring onion.
*If you are not keen on frying, dry the tempeh pieces out in an 180° C / 355° F oven for about 20 minutes before glazing.

8 g
17 g
3 g
17 g
37 g
*per serving
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5 reviews, 8 comments
This is my absolute favourite way to cook tempeh, I love this recipe - thank you so much for sharing!
I should note that I get a significantly different nutritional breakdown when I put this into Cronometer, though. With just 1tbsp avocado oil and three servings, Cronometer yields 479cals and 23g protein (with the rice and veg, it's 269 cals without).
I use a 300g pack of tempeh when I make this, and add some water to keep the marinade amounts the same, so it ends up being 543g per serve and 30g of protein, which is just perfect for my macros!
    Thank you Georgie, I am delighted to hear that you enjoy this recipe so much!
    As for nutritional breakdown, it is simply an estimation and it does seem to vary depending what you use (I use Whisk to calculate) so I only just include it as a guide.
SO DELICIOUS! I never bother to write reviews. This was one of my favorite recipes I’ve ever cooked. I breaded the tempeh first by dipping the pieces in a flax egg, then in a mix of rice flour and corn starch (best mix for crispness). I fried it in cast iron skillet, which also makes a huge flavor and crispness.
Due to lack of ingredients at home, subbed in lemon juice for The lime juice, and some finely grated lemon zest and extra ginger instead of lemongrass. And regular onion for shallots. And Frank’s buffalo sauce instead of sracha/other hot sauce, haha.
Anyway, thanks again for the great recipe! :)
    Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, Jenna, although it does sound like I can hardly take any credit for your success with this recipe :) Glad you enjoyed the end result! Ania
Malaika D Stasiak:
I make this almost every week. It's AMAZING!
    Thanks, that's lovely to hear! Ania
Hi! This looks so delicious! I have a question - would this still work if I steam or simmer the tempeh first to get rid of the sour taste? I'm really not a fan of it. Or will this mean it won't crisp up properly? Thanks x
    Hi Jo,
    It should work fine just make sure that you allow it cool off completely before frying. Hope that helps! Ania
Di-Di | The Foxy Flexitarian:
Thank you, Ania. I'm a big fan of Indonesian cooking and sambal oelek is a firm favorite. This recipe is so good it deserves a new set of hammock ropes. Go spoil yourself girl, you've earned it.
    Thanks :) Glad you like it! The thing is I am pretty sure they are somewhere in the house, but not sure which of many boxes (we recently moved). I hope to find them eventually...Ania
so bloody delicious omggggg, ty for this!
    I'm sooo pleased to hear that, Alexander! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, much appreciated. Ania
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