Tempeh Fritters with Noodles and Petai Beans

I like Japanese noodles. They are just a little bit firmer and easy to make into a beautiful dish. Today I make them with tempeh fritters (vegetarian!). I choose two types of noodles today: Cha Soba (Green Tea Noodles) and Somen.

I opt for two types of noodles: Cha Soba (Green Tea Noodles) and Somen.

Tempeh is a block of fermented soybeans. Typically Indonesian. Most supermarkets sell tempeh nowadays because it is a great meat substitute.

Tempeh is prepared in a variety of ways. Take a look at the recipes I’ve already made with tempeh.

Today I’m going to fry the soy slices in a simple ‘tempura’. This way they become lovely crisp and scrumptious and makes it a perfect match with the tender noodles.

Petai beans

I also add petai beans or peteh beans. I love these super strong and powerful scented, tasty beans. An Asian food shop close by sells them frozen. The flavor of the beans gets better when they are frozen. Even better than fresh (the Indonesian chef I worked for when I was a student) told me.

Today I make my Japanese tempeh fritters with petai and noodles for 4 people. Half a noodle pack is enough for 2 people. This recipe takes 45 minutes.


1 block of tempeh
1 small leek
2 cloves of garlic
petai beans from the freezer
few leaves of lettuce (any kind)
Japanese noodles – I opt for Hakubaku Cha Soba and Somen noodles
salty ketjap/soysauce (Kikkoman)
sweet ketjap/soysauce (Ketjap Manis ABC)
black pepper
Obento Tempura Batter Mix

Fry the tempeh

I start with the tempeh. They take more time than cooking the noodles.

I cut the tempeh lengthwise and then into 1-centimeter slices.

Tempura batter

For the batter, I follow the instructions on the packaging. The batter is made by adding cold water. And keep in mind; lumps are fine. Do not overwork the batter. The lumps make the tempura extra crispy.

Tempura is a Japanese dish made of vegetables and/or seafood that is fried in a batter.

I dip the tempeh pieces in the batter. I heat up my oil until smoke comes off and fry the tempeh pieces about three at the time. I do not fry them all together because the oil will cool down too much.

When they turn lovely golden brown, take them out and let drain on kitchen paper to get rid of the excess fat.


Meanwhile, I continue with the noodles. I chop the garlic and the well-washed leek. I also cut a handfull of petai beans into 4 pieces. I through them in frozen; they will defrost fast.

When the onions start to shine and turn yellow,  I add a tablespoon of Kikkoman soy sauce and a half-tablespoon of ketjap manis (ABC soy sauce) and a teaspoon of black pepper.


The noodles do not need long. Read the back of the packaging for cooking time. If they’ve cooked long enough immediately strain them and rinse well with cold water. This stops the cooking process, but also prevent the strings to stick together.

Never use oil to prevent stickiness. It is not necessary. The water will rinse off the starch that forms on the pasta.

Just before use, pour hot water over the drained noodles and add them to the seasoned garlic-leek mix.


I use crispy lettuce and layer it with the noodles; I start with a layer of noodles, then some lettuce and then some noodles again.

I garnish with a few cherry tomatoes, a petai bean and I add the tempeh fritters on top.  I serve with some Kikkoman sauce so that guests can spice up some more.

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