Tempe Penyet

We often taken things from granted until things are gone. I still remember on one school day that I wished mom would have made us food like fancy restaurants do and not just fried tempe/ tofu or stir fried vegetables. But this so called boring food back then has become many of childhood memories that I still am missing frequently along with my parents and sisters’ companion. To make up this homesickness I often recreate the dishes that mom used to make. Tempe penyet or mashed fermented soy bean served with sambel terasi, fresh salad made up of cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce (lalapan) , prawn /fish crackers (kerupuk), is one of our favourite dish that are healthy and simple to make.

Tempe Penyet / Mashed Fermented Soy Bean with Sambal (serve 2-4)



Tempe penyet ingredients from top clockwise: prawn paste/belacan/terasi, shallot, garlic, salt, tempe, big chilies, sugar. You may add bird eye chilies for the spicy kick.

4x big chillies, deseeded

Bird eyes chillies – optional

3x shallots

1x garlic

1x cherry tomato

2 cubes of ready to use prawn paste/ belacan

Salt and sugar

Oil for frying


  1. Cut up tempe into 4 squares and fried (deep / pan fried) until it is browned/ cooked. Remove from the pan, put it aside.
  2. Deep fried large chillies, small chillies (if using) garlic and shallot until slightly browned and/or aromatic. Remove from the pan, put it aside,
  3. Place fried chilli, garlic, shallot in mini food processor/ grinder. Add prawn paste / belacan, cherry tomato, salt and sugar. Grind them until paste is formed. Add more sugar/salt if needed.
  4. Place your fried tempeh and a spoonful of sambal / chili paste in a mortar. Mashed the tempe with the pestle. Serve with hot rice, salad/ lalapan and prawn crackers. Enjoy!

If you decide to have a go and make this dish, please give me a feedback and tag me on Instagram/ Facebook. Would love to hear from ya!

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