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Tempeh Mendoan - Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter
Do you miss snacking on crispy, crunchy, and super savory Indonesian tempeh mendoan? Follow my recipe to cook tempeh mendoan to snack on any time you like!
Tempeh mendoan originates from the city of Purwokerto in Central Java, Indonesia. Most people consider tempeh mendoan as a snack, and is one of the more popular Indonesian street food, for good reason.
Imagine tempeh, coated with a layer of spiced batter, and deep-fried in hot oil until it develops a crispy, crunchy, and super savory skin.
When you take a bite into it, you are treated with a delightful texture contrast between the crispy skin and the soft and tender tempeh inside. And to make the experience over the top, you really don’t want to make this without the chili sauce!
Choose 100% soybeans tempeh to make tempeh mendoan
It is not a surprise that tempeh is the main ingredient to prepare tempeh mendoan.
I know that there are so many different varieties of tempeh being offered nowadays, but if you want authentic tempeh mendoan, please stick to Indonesian style tempeh, which is made from 100% soybeans.
And if you are adventurous, you can try your hands at making your very own homemade tempeh!
Ingredients to prepare tempeh mendoan
Aside from the 100% soybeans tempeh, you will need the following to make the spiced batter:
- all-purpose flour
- rice flour, this is the secret ingredient for crispy skin
- grated garlic
- thinly sliced scallions
The accompanying chili sauce for your tempeh mendoan is very easy to make. You simply need:
- kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
- minced garlic
- thinly sliced red chilies, you can use Thai bird-eye chilies or Fresno chilies
Frying tempeh mendoan
Once you have everything, it is ready to finally fry some tempeh mendoan. So, let’s go over the steps:
1. Cut tempeh into thin slices
Unless I am in Indonesia, I usually use my own homemade tempeh. And I like to cut them into 12-16 thin slices. You want each slice to be more like a card than a stick!
2. Mix the spiced batter
Simply add all the spiced batter ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir it into a thick batter. It should resemble a slightly thicker pancake batter. Add some water (a tablespoon at a time), if you find the batter is too thick to stir.
3. Heat a pot of oil for deep frying
You will want at least 2 inches of oil. If you want to be precise, use a thermometer and start deep-frying once it reaches 170 Celsius/340 Fahrenheit.
For a no thermometer method, stick one bamboo chopstick into the hot oil, and if there are bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready.
4. Fry the tempeh
Coat each tempeh slice with the batter, and gently drop into the hot oil. Once the coat is golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain over a wire rack.
Not too difficult right? Now you too can make some tempeh mendoan and enjoy these super tasty Indonesian snacks!
Tempeh Mendoan - Deep Fried Tempeh with Spiced Batter
- 450 gram (1 lb.) soybeans tempeh, cut into thin slices (I cut mine into 12-16 slices)
- oil for deep frying
- Spiced batter
- 125 gram all-purpose flour (Indonesian: tepung terigu)
- 1 tablespoon rice flour (Indonesian: tepung beras)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder (Indonesian: bubuk ketumbar)
- 2 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), grated
- 2 scallions (Indonesian: daun bawang), cut into thin sliced
- 200 ml water
- Chili sauce (mix together the following ingredients)
- 4 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (Indonesian: kecap manis)
- 2 to 5 red Thai chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit merah), seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), minced
- Heat enough oil in a pot/frying pan for deep frying.
- Combine all batter ingredients in a mixing bowl, make sure to remove all the lumps.
- Once the oil is ready, dip each slice of tempeh in the batter and deep fry until crispy.
- Arrange the fried tempeh on a serving plate and serve with the chili sauce.
Simone Roberts says:
Hey Anita I just wanted to say thank you so much for your blog. For the past 2 weeks I have been sourcing it for Indonesian recipes and advice. I am engaged to a lovely Indonesian man and have been testing out the recipes on him. Almost cooked 2 different recipes per day. My fiance has helped me out in the past but your blog is lengkap bgt! Now I can cook the recipes myself and this makes me feel really proud. I cooked tempe mendoan last night and its already all gone. Terima kasih ya kakak. You have helped us out in more ways than one.
thanks so much for this!!! have been looking for a straightforward recipe with a pic that looks like what it should actually look like! I tried it today and it was delicious. any tips on how to make it crispier?
Thanks for trying out the recipe Michelle. I don't have any specific tips, but in general, when deep frying, only start deep frying once the oil is really hot (test this by dropping a bit of batter, if it bubbles immediately, then start deep frying), and don't overcrowd the pot so the oil temperature doesn't drop too much. I hope this helps :)
Hi, if Mendoan, so it should not be crispy, because well the name mendoan meaning "slightly cooked".,
A. Jehan Sirie says:
anita, thank you for your awesome recipe, finally i can enjoy a perfect Mendoan for my fasting break during this ramadhan with my friends.
I found your site a few months ago when looking for a recipe of tempeh mendoan after a friend posted some pics online. The deep longing for tempeh led to me discover my small-town America grocery store carried it! It's probably stocked just for the tiny subset of vegans in my area, but truly nothing beats tempeh, Indonesian style!
Since that time I have been enthralled with all your recipes! They are magnificent! I think more people come here to recreate food from home, but not being Indonesian myself, and having only a fraction of experience (a few trips and hobbies related to Indonesia can't even begin to scratch the surface of this huge country) I am learning so much about Indonesian cuisine!
That being said, THIS recipe is amazing. I'm not an A+ fryer, yet these came out with wonderful flavor to complement that natural creaminess in tempeh. I ate the entire batch myself in a few days! I never got tired of them, even if the batter softens as a leftover. This may be the recipe to try if you're looking to convince someone that tempeh is A) totally delicious and B) not just for vegans/vegetarians.
Thank you for your kind comment Milky. Yes, tempeh mendoan is definitely delicious. If you have any leftover and want to get their crispiness back, I find that I can reheat them in a hot skillet on a stove. Simply heat a skillet until hot, then add a little bit of oil (less than 1 tablespoon worth), and add the tempeh to reheat. Be sure to stir and flip so they reheat and crisp up nice and even.
Chris Collins says:
I've never made Tempeh Mendoan before, but after reading this I'll definitely be giving this a go!!
That spiced batter sounds so perfect! Putting this on my menu!
Matt Freund says:
This looks good. Must try.
Andrea Metlika says:
This looks so crispy and fabulous. Really love the spiced batter and the dipping sauce.
Sally @ Savory With Soul says:
Oh YUM! This looks amazing! I saw your recipe on a FB post. I've love to try new foods from different cultures, and this looks like one I will love. Gonna pin to try soon!
Is it possible to use Tempe Gembus instead?
Hi Chris, certainly. You can use tempe gembus too.
Annie Sanger says:
Just wanted to say big Thank you so much all the way from Tasmania Australia for this recipe, my husband is Indonesian and loves tempeh this way, we cook many of your recipes and love them 😊
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