Tempe Jelek (Ugly Tempeh) - Original Recipes Event

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!
Happy cooking!


Mochachocolata Rita said...

emang namanya tempe jelek tho sef?

to me, they look super gorgeous hehehe

me lovey!

A.G said...

wah jd pengen nih...
punya tempe di friser satu blog tp tak sayang-2 :D liat ini kok jd pengen :((

sefa firdaus said...

@Mochachocolata Rita: iya Rit, dikasih nama tempe jelek sama suamiku, abis penampakannya jelek kata dia :))
thanks ya dibilang gorgeous, geer deh tempenya :D

@A.G: wakakaka.. sama dong, aku juga masih ada satu blok tempe lagi di friser, yg ini tempe terakhir dari Nana :D

Lidia Sianturi said...

Hahaha..judulnya itu loh yg bikin org tertarik buat baca...
Brilliant idea!

Shinta said...

Hahaha... kok bisa-bisanya dapat ide ngasih nama begitu :)) But, eye catching mbak bikin penasaran :D

Judith said...

He he .. tempe jelek tapi rasane uuuennnaak Sef. Waktu di Solo dulu justru tempe bosok dijadikan bumbu. Nyammii ...

Fitri said...

qiqiqiq.. gilee.. tukang dongeng doyan tempe..hebat oyy, ternyata dia lebih Indonesia lidah nya yaa..

Lore said...

Looks good to me Sefa, love that last photo! Lecker indeed :) I should try using sambel oelek more often especially now that I know it's a great shortcut ;)
Thanks for sharing it with Original Recipes!

Sheila said...

Jelek2 tapi rasanya nikmaaat :D.
Kok samaan sih pake Sambal Oelek & Bango? Sambal Oelek emang bisa jadi solusi kalo kita lagi males banget, ya. Cuma ya emang mesti ditambah ini & itu biar rasanya lebih okeh.

Kitchen Flavours said...

There is a suprise for you in my blog. Click here to know what the suprise is, http://kitchenflavours.blogspot.com/2008/07/fruit-chaat.html

Abby said...

jelek tapi yahud kan rasanya Sef ?:))
kalo di kirim ga bakal nolak lohh..;)

CECIL said...

First time visiting! Salam kenal ya! :) LOVE LOVE tempeh!! And Kecap Bango too!!

Resto Mariena said...

nggak koq nggak jelek xixixixix
ini mah yg paling enak buat ku !!

Dita said...

bo, biar kata jelek, tapi rasanya duonk. Kalo makanan penampilan jelek, agak tricky ya Fa ngambilnya :D.

sefa firdaus said...

@Lidia Sianturi: hahahaha... abis kata suamiku tempenya jelek sih, ya udah kasih nama tempe jelek aja :D

@Shinta: kalo gitu berhasil dong ya ;)

@Judith: iya ya... tempe bosok malah jadi makanan enak, hebat memang orang Indonesia :D

@Fitri: dia mah emang udah Indonesia banget, hihihi... apalagi kalo udah ngomong pake bhs Indonesia dijalan (kalo ngomongin orang Jerman, biar gak ngerti)

@Lore: thanks Lore and you are most welcome dear :)
true.. sambel oelek is indeed saving time your time in the kitchen, especially for a lazy one like me :D

@Sheila: betul Sheil, tampang boleh jelek, tapi rasanya dong, hihihi
tosssssssss... gue mah bener-bener pencinta sambel oelek dan kecap bango :D

@Kitchen Flavours: thanks a lot! *hugs*
I'll blog about it soon.

@Abby: daripada dikirim nanti jadi tempe jelek busuk, mending dirimu kesini deh By, bisa makan yg freshnya ;)

@Cecil: salam kenal juga, makasih udah mampir. Tossss *sesama pencinta kecap bango dan tempeh*

@Resto Mariena: wakakakaka, tau tuh Mar... si Tukang Dongeng bilangnya jelek, ya udah dinamain tempe jelek deh jadinya :d

@Dita: betul banget Dit, yg penting rasanya itu loh ;)
iya Dit, paling pusing kalo makanannya gak menarik, motretnya puyeng :D

Salt N Turmeric said...

i love tempe! its hard to find it here but i was lucky tht my fren brought some with her when she came to visit fr pennsylvania.

of sambal, hell yeah, sambal oelek is a life saver! iv stopped using dried chili since theyr waayy too pedas.


sefa firdaus said...

yup.. sambal oelek is our life saver :))


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A West Sumatran's descendant, born and raised in Jakarta. Now living in Northern Germany. A full time dreamer.

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