Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Indonesian Tempeh and Noodles

I made this last night for a dinner party here at the Lazy S Ranch. It pleased vegans, meat eaters, spice lovers, and spice haters alike. And prep time was less than an hour.

This recipe calls for keycap manis—a type of sweetened soy sauce used extensively in Indonesian cooking. Keycap is available at any Asian grocer and is well worth having on hand—it is absolutely my favorite all-purpose condiment.

Like many other recipes I've posted, feel free to add anything you think would sound good. I’ve added bean sprouts and cilantro to the finished product, stirred all-natural peanut butter into the sauce, and even served this dish with a fried egg on top. Yum!

Prep time: 2 cocktails

1/3 cup keycap manis
3 TBSP Siracha
1 TBSP brown rice vinegar
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/3 tsp white pepper
¼ cup peanut oil
8 ounce-package tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1.5-inch piece ginger, minced
¼ cup shallot, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large handfuls precooked and chilled noodles (rice noodles or vermicelli)
1 big handful chopped veggies (broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, and cabbage all work well)
2 scallions, green parts only, chopped into wheels

First, lightly steam or sauté the veggies. Don’t overdo it; they should still have a bit of crispness, as you'll cook them again more in a minute. Set aside.

Now prep the sauce by combining keycap manis, Siracha, vinegar, Braggs, and white pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well and set aside.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add tempeh and sauté until it turns golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside on paper towels, pat off excess oil.

In same pan that you cooked the tempeh, heat a bit of oil and add shallot. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add ginger and garlic. Reduce to medium heat and continue to sauté a couple minutes, stirring often.

Now stir in sauce, vegetables, and noodles. Continue to cook, stirring very frequently until the sauce gets all bubbly and the veggies and pasta are nice and hot. If necessary, adjust keycap manis, soy sauce, vinegar and/or Siracha so you get a nice salty/sweet/spicy/tangy balance. Stir in tempeh and remove from heat. Serve with a sprinkle of scallion on top.

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