For deep-frying:vegetable oil, plus 2 tbsp extra400 gmtempeh (see note), halved lengthways and thinly sliced4golden shallots, thinly sliced2garlic cloves, thinly sliced2long red chillies, thinly sliced10 gm (2cm piece)galangal, thinly sliced½ tspshrimp paste, roasted2 tbspdark palm sugar50 gmtamarind pulp, mixed with 200ml water, strained, solids discardedTo serve:thinly sliced birdseye chillies
Heat oil in a deep saucepan to 175C. Deep-fry tempeh in batches, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper, set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok over medium heat, add shallot, garlic, chilli, galangal and shrimp paste and stir-fry until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Add palm sugar and stir over low-medium heat until dissolved (1-2 minutes). Add tamarind paste and deep-fried tempeh and stir frequently until sauce is reduced and caramelised (5-6 minutes). Season to taste and serve scattered with chilli to taste.
Note Tempeh is available from Asian grocers and some
supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute firm tofu. Shrimp paste,
known as terasi in Indonesia, is available from Asian grocers. It
requires roasting before use: preheat oven to 200C, wrap shrimp
paste in foil and roast until fragrant (5 minutes). Dark palm sugar
is made from the coconut palm; in Indonesia it's called gula
This recipe is from the June 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet