Indonesian loves tofu and tempeh. Tofu in Bahasa is “tahu”, and tempeh is tempe without the ‘h’. Tempeh is originated from Indonesia, so I don’t know why ‘tempe’ become ‘tempeh’ in English.. Both are made from soybean.

Interestingly, tofu and tempeh were considered as poor people’s food. Because, it’s cheap source of protein. But, as we learn more about the nutrients and how tofu and tempeh can provide you protein without so much fat and cholesterol, they become everybody’s food.

Tempeh, traditionally made with banana leaf as wrapping


As much as we Indonesian loves tofu and tempeh, both items causes quite a problem that not many people realize. Because there is high demand in soybean, as main ingredients for tofu and tempeh, Indonesia imported soybean. Indonesia imported soybean around 200.000 ton per month. Most of it comes from USA. As a nation, of course we want to reduce this import value. There’s a lot of research going on to improve productivity of soybean in Indonesia. All as an effort so that Indonesian can still enjoy tofu and tempeh.

So.. tofu and tempeh, both delicious, very easy to cook, and cheap. I think is safe to say every Indonesian home kitchen cook it every now and then. I love it too! For a price of one chicken, I can make three meals of rice, tofu, tempeh, and some vegetables. You can stem it, grill it, fried it, etc, etc. And I have the easiest way to cook it Indonesian way.

Fried tofu and tempeh!

You just need garlic, coriander, salt water, and oil for frying. That’s all..

This recipe can work for tofu only or tempeh only. I made both because I love both. Hehe..

Cut your tofu and tempeh as you desire. I like to cut the tofu quite thick so it still be soft in the middle after I fried it. For tempeh, I like to slice it thinner because I like it crispy. Blend together garlic, coriander, salt, with water. Then in a big bowl, submerge your tofu and tempeh with blended garlic and coriander. Left it for at least 15 minutes to marinade the tofu and tempeh.

Fried tofu and tempeh, rice, and stir fry kangkong: easy Indonesian lunch.

Strain the tofu and tempeh. Then straight into pan with hot cooking oil they go. Deep fried them until golden brown.. That’s it. Yummy fried tofu and tempeh ready to be eaten. I love eating them as snack with sambal (a condiment made from chili). They can be eaten with stir fry vegetables (kangkong stir fry, maybe?) and rice as super yummy and balance vegetarian meal.

Super Easy Fried Tofu and Tempeh

Super Easy Fried Tofu and Tempeh


  • 250 gr tofu
  • 200 gr tempeh
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • cooking oil for frying


  1. Slice the tofu and tempeh
  2. Blend together garlic, coriander, salt, and water
  3. In big bowl, marinade the tofu and tempeh with blended garlic
  4. Wait 15 minutes for the seasoning to be absorbed
  5. Strain the tofu and tempeh
  6. Deep fried tofu and tempeh separately. Wait until they golden brown, and strain.
  7. Note: If you use tofu only or tempeh only, reduce the garlic to 3, 1/2 tbsp coriander, 1/2 tbs of salt, and 1/2 cup of water.