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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

another way with tempeh

A few nights ago we had a lovely dinner of Cereal Prawns made with Oatmeal and Tiger Prawns. Sorry I have no photos to show. It was gone before I can take any. But it got me thinking that it might be a great way to wok tempeh up.

I usually fry tempeh and it it with sambal kicap, have it as part of a fabulous salad or as Sambal Tempeh with some white baits and peanuts (will blog about this soon). I thought Cereal Tempeh would be great minus the cereals and minus the butter that the prawn is usually cooked in. The results was quite a revelation.

First you have to get the tempeh just right. It has to be sliced quite thick. The reason being to enjoy the nuttiness of the soy in tempeh, you have to have a bit of bite into it. And the tempeh has to be crunchy so the yeasty taste won't overwhelm. This I find can be achieved by frying it twice like frying the perfect french fries.

The oil used for frying has to be a mixture of fresh oil and oil that has been used to fry something else. To reuse oil once or twice is very common in Asian cooking. Often the oil used to fry chicken or prawn used again in stir fries, noodles, fried rice and sauces. Sometimes the same oil is used a few times to fry fish and chicken. The reasons for this are it will coat the tempeh with extra flavour and it achieves higher temperature than using fresh oil alone.

The curry leaves used in this dish has to be fresh to get that *kick*. You can use dried chilies or chili flakes instead of the fiery bird's eye chili. And if you fry everything right, the dish will keep in a jar at least 2 weeks and a month in the fridge. I didn't use any cereals because I think the tempeh is crunchy enough and soak up all the flavours very well but would try it with oatmeal the next time.

I must come up with a better name for this dish... any ideas?
Cereal Tempeh without the cereal
400g tempeh - sliced to about 0.3cm squares
2 cups of vegetable oil+ 1/2 cup of pre-used oil (I used the oil I fried the prawns from the night before)
5 garlic - crushed and chopped
5 bird's eye chilies - chopped
a bunch of fresh curry leaves
a handful of dried shrimps
1 tsp black mustard seeds
salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar
1. In a fryer, combined 2 cups of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup preused oil
2. Cut the tempeh into bite size but not too thinly.
3. Soak the dried shrimps in hot water then drain and pound lightly.
4. When the oil is smoking, add tempeh in batches, fry for about 1-2 minutes then remove and drain on kitchen paper. Do this until you finish frying all the tempeh.
5. Refry the tempeh in the same oil for about 3 minutes until golden and crispy.
6. In a wok, add in 3 TBSP of oil and when the wok is smoking, add curry leaves, chopped garlic, mustard seeds and chilies. Fry until fragrant.
7. Add dried shrimps and fry a bit more then add the tempeh.
8.Mix thoroughly for about a minute or two, season with some salt pepper and a pinch of sugar. Dish out immediately. This will keep in a jar for about 2 weeks or up to a month in the fridge.

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Blogger Maya said...

Tempeh makes regular appearance in our kitchen - my fave is sambal tempeh. Your tempeh goreng looks wonderful...

2:20 pm  

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