Deep Fried Tempeh
This is a basic recipe for frying plain tempeh without marinating. I usually shy away from deep frying, but in the case of plain tempeh I find frying them in hot oil the fastest & easiest method compared to baking in the oven. That’s because there is next to no splatters when deep frying plain (dry) tempeh.
We love the taste of tempeh for its strong & nutty taste. Tempeh is usually soaked in a liquid marinate before frying. To season plain tempeh after frying, one can sprinkle salt & pepper as the main seasoning, followed by other seasoned powder (such as cayenne/paprika, seaweed, garlic salt etc). We often eat it plain at home (because the cook is lazy) :P
Fried tempeh can be used as a salad topping, for stir-fries or added to soups, curries & stews. I usually fry a full batch and eat them like a snack, with the remaining tempeh chilled in the fridge for meal prep. I used this particular batch of tempeh for a spicy tempeh cabbage curry (pictured above).
These are packets of tempeh I bought from Sheng Siong (SS). I like buying from SS as each packet of tempeh comes in 2 small rectangular stabs of 40g each, and wrapped in banana leaf. There are more modern vacuumed type of packaging sold at supermarkets, but I like this traditional packaging the most.
There are two ways to cut tempeh before frying. To fry them as a whole block, make criss-cross (or diagonal) superficial slits on one side without cutting all the way through. Alternatively, cut tempeh to bite-sized sections.
Heat peanut or canola oil (or any cooking oil with a high smoke point) until tiny bubbles form (about 180°C (356°F). Deep fry until light golden brown. Plain tempeh is dry, so oil splatters are a rare occurrence during deep frying. Take out the fried pieces and blot out excess oil on tempura paper or kitchen paper towels before serving.