I’ve got a sore throat. Blast! Blast! Blast. Can’t go to the gym, can’t down an iced drink, can’t eat my Tempeh and Tofu Sambal, a dish I’ve been craving for the past week.
Can you tell I’m not happy?
I love tempeh, particularly when it’s cooked sambal-style (with plenty of onions and a few tablespoons of hot, hot pure red chilli paste). Oh Lordy. It's one of my favorite dishes.
I hardly ever make the dish myself because there’s a lady who makes the best tempeh sambal I’ve ever tasted at a restaurant near my workplace. I simply buy two-ringgit’s worth (that's a lot for she is a generous woman) for my dinner three times a week.
Pure heaven. Honestly, it’s out-of-this-world tasty. I don’t eat it with rice. I eat it on it’s own, from a bowl, in front of the TV.
Yes, I have terrible habits. But to my defence, my husband works the night shift leaving me all alone with my dog five nights a week. I don’t go out much and Mojo (he’s the mutt) appreciates me eating my dinner by him in the living room. So you see, it’s circumstances that have made me develop these habits.
I’ve tried in vain to get the recipe from the lady (I have been remiss in getting her name; I just refer to her as Adik) who sells the delicious tempeh but to no avail. She’s more than willing to share but she says she doesn’t have a recipe. Instead, she’s invited into her kitchen to watch her cook. One day I will but until then, and since I'm on leave and unwilling to drive all the way to the office just for the tempeh, I’ve to be content with my own version which is tasty but not heavenly like the one the nice lady at work makes.
Still, beggars can't be choosers. I must find time to take her up on her offer. I must learn the recipe from her. I must. Till then, here's my version.
|Plain tempe/tofu + Fire = Awesome sambal|
4 blocks tempeh, halved lengthwise and sliced.
1 block firm tofu, halved lengthwise and crosswise
4 shallots, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2cm piece galangal, roughly chopped
2 dried chillies, blanched and roughly chopped
2 tbsp (heaped) red chilli paste
1/4 cup vegetable stock/water
salt and white pepper
Deep fry the tempeh and the taufu (separately) until firm and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Pound/blend the shallots, garlic and galangal.
Heat about 2-3 tbsp oil in a wok. Add the blended onions/garlic/galangal and the chilli paste and fry till fragrant. Add the tempeh/taufu and mix to coat with the chilli. Add the stock and the dried chillies and cook over high heat till the water evaporates. Season to taste.