Soo....now I`m going to stop blabbering because there is a more fun thing to talk about.
We`re actually part time vegans. But only for a very super duper special occasion. An occasion where we have tempeh in our freezer. Being Indonesian, having tempeh isn`t something special, really. But being Indonesian living abroad, that`s another story. Lucky for me though, there is an Indonesian who owns a tempeh factory in Japan. Thank you, Mr. Rusto! I adore you!
This time I made these two dishes in one post because the preparation is quite similar (translation: both require sambal). They are pressed tempeh with sambal and stir-fried tempeh with wakame seaweed.
Alright, guess I`d like to start with pressed tempeh first. Slice the tempeh and fry it until golden brown. The thicker your tempeh slices are, the more oil you need. Your call.
When you`re done frying, set them aside.
And here comes my lover. Sambal. With tomato puree. I hate to say that I didn`t shoot the previous step in making sambal. But these are what I usually use: chili (of course!), garlic, onion (shallot if you`re lucky to have them), ginger, and kencur (or not). After making those into spice paste, continue with sauteeing until fragrant. Add powdered chilli to boost the redness.It always takes extra effort to make sambal with dried chilli looks like a real sambal with fresh chilli.
And here is the other star. Shrimp paste. I love this Thai shrimp paste for its readiness. Just for a quick hint, especiallly if you`re a first timer, shrimp paste has a very very very strong smell and taste. Like durian and stinky beans, it`s either you like it, or hate it. So, to decide whether you use it or not, smell, and taste it. If you aren`t happy, put it back and quickly pass the paste to your (South East Asian) friends. They will love you more and more.
But if your tummy growls after tasting it, add the paste to the spice while sauteeing. Mine is growling loudly now just talking about it.
After the shrimp paste, prepare tomato puree and add it into the sauteed spices.
Stir up...oh I use kaffir lime leaves too. Season with fish sauce, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar.
Now this sambal looks done to me.
Next, place some fried tempeh on a plate, spread the sambal over, and...
Get your weapon. No, get your pestle. I use my (new-unused) wooden pestle, hence the wrap covering as I hate to see it gets greasy. It just came to me like a year later that I could have just wrap the pestle instead of covering the tempeh. Duh.
In a traditional and right way to do, these are all done on a stone mortar and pestle. But this is me living in a FarAwayLand. So grab anything you think you can use to make the tempeh flattened.
Now they`re ready for you. Quick get your rice! Have I told you I can be a vegan with tempeh and sambal??
And the other dish. If you have extra tempeh. Dice them and fry until golden brown.
Stir-fry with sambal.
Wakame seaweed. This is how dried wakame looks like. Blackish dark green and really dry.
Soak them in water for 5 minutes or until they swell up and turn to brighter green. Throw in the rehydrated wakame to the tempeh and sambal.
And you`re done!
Spice paste for sambal:
chili powder, optional
shrimp paste, optional
salt pepper to taste
sugar, a pinch (or depends on how sweet you want it to be)
wakame seaweed, rehydrated