Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kripik Tempe -- Tempeh Crisps

Having made some tempeh, I now need to use it. Tempeh is something that doesn't have a real long shelf life. Perhaps if you vacuum packed it, it might last for some time in the refrigerator. Of course, you could always freeze it, but if you go to the trouble of making your own tempeh it seems to me that you might as well eat it fresh. It is good simply marinated in a little garlic, coriander, salt and water for fifteen minutes or so and then fried. Frying brings out its nuttiness and makes it an excellent addition to gado gado.

Seeing how it is the weekend and the heat has finally arrived in the valley with temperatures approaching 100º F, I decided to make some kripik tempe. These are a perfect accompaniment to a gin and tonic, margarita, mojito, or the drink of your choice. They have the lusciousness of being fried, yet they are high protein and high fiber. Like all things fried, they are best when still hot from the fryer, but they still taste good when they are served at room temperature.

When I lived in Jakarta, I used to buy these and fried tofu from a man with a pushcart fryer at the end of my lane and take them back to my house to enjoy with my evening drink while listening to the call to prayer. There was a small mosque at the end of the street and its loudspeakers always let me know when it was time to pray. Inasmuch as I've never had much reverence for any religion, I always found it very satisfying to indulge in my vices while others more virtuous than I performed their religious duty. Try these and you may be closer to understanding William James' The Variety of Religious Experience.

Kripik Tempe
1 block of tempeh, sliced no thicker than 1/8 inch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup coconut milk (or water)
1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1 clove of garlic, ground in a mortar to a paste
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
4 kaffir lime leaves, thick center vein removed, thinly sliced
oil for frying

Dry the slices of tempeh in the sun for fifteen to 30 minutes. Make a thin batter of the remaining ingredients. Dip the tempeh into the batter and drop in hot oil (360º). Fry until golden brown. Drain. Serve with your favorite drink.


  1. These look really good! I love tempeh but I've never had it sliced so thin.

  2. tbc,
    Thanks. A good quality tempeh can be sliced very thin. Slicing them thin and then frying them brings out their nuttiness. The kaffir lime leaves impart an interesting background note to the crisps.


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