coconut oil, to shallow-fry
2 x 250g packets tempeh, sliced into thin matchsticks
4 shallots, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
4 tablespoons coconut sugar
4 tablespoons tamarind purée
2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
4 makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, ribs removed, leaves finely shredded
cooked jasmine rice, sliced red chillies and coriander leaves, to serve

There are many different versions of this dish throughout Indonesia depending on where it’s made and by whom, but it’s most commonly eaten throughout Java. It also happens to be one of my favourite ways to enjoy tempeh. After frying the tempeh until crisp and golden, it’s stirred through the aromatics and sauce and cooked until lusciously sticky. Best eaten straight from the pan with a bowl of plain jasmine rice.
Makrut lime leaves are more commonly known as kaffir lime leaves. Research is inconclusive as to whether the name was originally used in a racist manner, but the word ‘kaffir’ is a derogatory name in many countries, so I’d rather use the southeast Asian name from where the limes originate. Any excess can be frozen and used straight from the freezer.


1.Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil and, working in batches, fry the tempeh until golden brown.
2.Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3.Pour out any excess coconut oil, leaving approximately 1 tablespoon in the pan.
4.Add the shallots, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until tender and golden.
5.Add the ground coriander and cook for a further 30 seconds.
6.Return the fried tempeh to the pan and stir well.
7.Add the coconut sugar, tamarind purée and soy sauce and cook, stirring often, for a couple of minutes, until the sauce reduces and coats the tempeh.
8.Stir through the shredded lime leaves, then season with ground white pepper and a little sea salt, if needed.
9.Serve over jasmine rice with a few slices of red chilli and some coriander leaves.

Recipes, food styling & dish photography Emma Galloway

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