Tahu dan Tempe Bacem (Braised Spiced Tofu and Tempeh)-Tofu and Tempeh are braised in aromatic spices and herbs and then pan-fried for a healthier version.
The first time I learned of Tahu dan Tempe Bacem was when I lived in Jakarta for a short 1 year. Almost every day I had these for dinner 🙂 They were quickly becoming my favorite snacks. Tahu dan tempe bacem are originated from Central Java. The tofu and tempe are braised in coconut water and spices like coriander seeds, shallots, galangal, bay leaves, and palm sugar and then deep-fried. I didn’t use coconut water in this recipe, but trust me, they still turn out delicious.
I like the smell and taste of coriander seeds or we called it as ketumbar in Indonesian language. I think that’s what makes this tahu dan tempe bacem special to me. The taste and smell profile of ketumbar is completely different with coriander leaves/cilantro leaves if you are wondering. Coriander seeds are widely used in Indonesian kitchen. I hate grinding up spices too, so you can find the powder version, I have no problem using them versus the fresh ingredients. I updated this recipe and make it more simple and doable even for those who are not familiar with Indonesian cooking.
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- 14 oz extra firm tofu cut into 3 x 3- inch
- 8 oz tempe cut into triangles
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil divided
- 1 Tbsp coriander powder
- 1 Tbsp galangal powder
- 3 shallots peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 Tbsp kecap manis or sweet soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- Salt to taste
- Water or coconut water
- Place the cut tofu and tempe inside a large pot, add in water until it just barely cover the tofu and tempe. Add in coriander , galangal, salt , sweet soy sauce, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Stir a little bit to mix the spices. Bring to a boil and then lower to let them gently simmer until the water evaporates half and then turn the tofu and tempe over and boil until the water is almost all evaporated and the spices are absorbed
- Remove from the pot and let them cool down. Preheat oil and pan fried the tofu on all sides until golden brown before serving and serve with chili if you like