369 Tempeh Kemul (East Java)

369 Tempe KemoelFriends often ask me: ‘when are you going to make tempeh again? We like it crispy!’ Today I’m going for Beb Vuyk’s tempeh kemul from East Java. The tempeh is cut in to slices dipped in a coconut batter and fried into crispy fritters. It needs a lot of garlic. That makes the tempeh super tasty.

Tempe Kemul (East Java) translated from Beb Vuyk Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 303.


1/2 slice of tempeh
50 grams of rice flour
1/10 block of santen (coconut cream)
1/2 cup of water (1 dl)


4 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder

Rub the garlic with the coriander, turmeric and salt together. Bring water to the boil with the santen and add the rubbed herbs when the santen has dissolved. Let the broth cool down. Mix in the rice flour. Cut the tempeh into slices of +/- 1cm. Cut it into halve lengthwise. Dip them one by one in the batter and fry in the oil until they are done and crispy.

369 Tempe Kemoel-cobec-boek

I add the chopped garlic, the spices and salt to the mortar (cobek). I use one teaspoon of salt. I buy the tempeh at my local Indonesian store. In Holland it is easy to get, but not so much in the States I hear. Sorry about that.

369 Tempe Kemoel-cobek

The herb paste turns beautifully yellow because of the kunjit (turmeric); looks so beautiful. Meanwhile, I bring the 1 dl of water to the boil. I add the santen (coconut cream) and stire until dissolved. You use coconut milk instead of santen, but make sure you use less water.

369 Tempe Kemoel-pasta

You do not have to fry the spice mix, just add it into the pan. I bring it to a boil and let it cool.

369 Tempe Kemoel-meel

The flour can go in now. Stir well untill all the lumps are gone (easy because it is rice flour).

369 Tempe Kemoel-tempe

I cut the tempeh once in half lengthwise and than crosswise into one centimeter slices. As evenly as possible.

369 Tempe Kemoel-saus

I leave my tempeh in the marinade while my oil heats up. The tempeh sucks in the flavors, yummy.

I fry 5 tempeh kemul fritters at once in the hot oil. I use my wok. I can quickly fry small amounts without having to heat up a lot of oil. I fry the tempeh until lightly browned and drain them on a kitchen towel and serve them in a pretty basket. I use Norwegian food wrapping paper. You can also use white baking paper.

369 Tempe Kemoel

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