>> Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I have a confession to make. "I'm depended to Sambel Oelek". Yes, I am! Especially when the laziness stays in me for such a long period. Instead of using fresh chilies or dried ones, I will use sambel oelek as a short cut. Though using sambel oelek is tricky, since you have to add something more to omit the taste of sour and salty in it, but still I love sambel oelek. Whoever invented it, is really a genius! I will cherish the day it was invented *smile*
I don't remember when exactly I created this recipe but I do remember the first time I published it (June 13th, 2007). I always published my own recipe after two or three times making it. Just to make sure that the recipe is worth to share.
When my better half saw this food at the first time, he said nothing but "This food is jelek".
Yup, he knows some words in Indonesian language and sometimes he mixed the words in our daily conversations (we use English, German and little bit of Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic). Though saying it as jelek dish, he ate it. When he swallowed it his eyes became bigger and the this-food-is-yummy-expression came. "Masha' Allah! Tasty sekali Ayone".
Sekali is Indonesian language and in this context, means very. Ayone is one of several nicknames he gave to me (it means my eyes - the Arabian called their beloved as my eyes - I found it sweet since eyes are everything).
Now I hope you can figure it out why it named Tempe Jelek (Ugly Tempeh). The bottom line is "Don't judge food by its appearance". But come to think of it, if we don't allow to judge food by its looks, so why bother doing food photography and food styling and having pain in the back for searching the right angle? Hmmm... it becomes dilemma now for me *LOL*
Actually there is a way to make this ugly tempeh into a pretty one. Fry first the tempeh, half cooked is enough, before mixing with the spices. But if you do so, then you have to change the name into Pretty Tempeh but it's not original anymore *hahaha*.
Well, this one goes to my dear friend Lore, who created a great monthly event Original Recipes.
So Lore, this one is for you!
FYI, the tempeh I used is homemade tempeh, made by my best friend Nana of My Cyber Kitchen.
Tempe Jelek (Ugly Tempeh)
Recipe by me
1 block of tempeh, cubed or cut as desired
3 shallots, finely sliced
3 tbsp sambel oelek
2 tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce (I used Kecap Bango - lecker!)
100 ml warm water
Salt and sugar to taste
Cooking oil for sautéing
1. Heat oil in a wok pan. Sauté shallots until fragrant.
2. Add sambel oelek. Stir fry for a while.
3. Fold in tempeh. Fry until half cooked.
2. Add sweet soy sauce and water. Mix well and cook over small heat until the water become half.
3. Season with salt and sugar. Continue cooking until set.
4. Serve with steamed rice. Yummieeeeeee ;)
If you fry the tempeh half cooked, the cooking step will be:
1. Heat oil in a wok pan. Sauté shallots until fragrant. Add sambel oelek and water. Cook over small heat until the water become half.
2. Add tempeh and mix well. Season with sugar and salt. Cook until set.
Which method do you prefer? You decide!