One of the things I love to make for breakfast is tempe scramble. It’s perfect for weekend brunch or even for lunch. Actually, it doesn’t really matter what time of the day you have it. Indonesians often eat lunch for breakfast, dinner for breakfast and dessert for at any time of the day so you won’t be breaking any cultural traditions. I know this because I grew up in Indonesia and I’ve had mee-goreng, fried rice and toasted chocolate sprinkle sandwiches for breakfast. People still do.
Tempe is fermented soybeans originally from Indonesia. Yes, the correct spelling is without the ‘h’. It’s pronounced tém-pé, without the ‘h’ sound at the end. Here in Australia (and I guess a lot of Western countries) everyone spells it incorrectly. I’ve started doing that too, just so people know what I’m talking about. But tempe, not tempeh, is the correct spelling, and I will start spelling it correctly now since I’m Indonesian and I should know better.
I’m surprised a lot of people have not tried tempeh, which is a shame because tempeh is even better than tofu in terms of its nutritional value and wholesomeness. I speculate a lot of people are afraid to try it or they’ve had a bad experience before. Maybe it wasn’t cooked right, or maybe the tempe they used wasn’t fresh. Fresh tempe smells and tastes delicious. The fermentation process that makes tempe (transforming the soybean into a cake or patty form) gives it a firm texture and an earthy mild flavour. It also has the same fermented aroma as cheese. Try to find raw organic tempe if you can. They can be fresh or frozen, but make sure they’re not pre-cooked or flavoured. You can also make them yourself. It takes a fair bit of time and it can be daunting at first but it’s actually quite simple, once you know the tricks of the trade. I sometimes make my own tempe but these days I don’t have a lot of time so I just buy them. I use the Nutrisoy brand and I can say they make great, authentic tempe! You can find them at Indonesian or Malaysian grocery stores.
Why I love this tempe scramble
Tempe is great source of plantbased protein, Vitamin B12, iron and probiotics. Tempe scramble is one of the easiest things you can make using tempe. If you have a food processor, you can make it even quicker by chopping all your ingredients (separately of course) using the food processor and all you need to do is cook! Regardless of how you cut up the ingredients, it’s a great meal for when you want to make something fast and it creates an aromatic, slightly crunchy scramble with a somewhat meaty and chewy texture. Serve the tempe scramble with a slice of toasted sourdough bread or some steamed vegetables and you have a deliciously filling meal.
- 250 raw fresh tempe, minced or grated
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- Using a non-stick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for about two minutes or until soft.
- Add tempe into the pan. Stir for a minute.
- Add soy sauce, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper. Stir for a few more minutes until golden brown.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Serve with toasted sourdough bread or some steamed vegetables.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to share a picture on Instagram and tag me. I’d love to see your creation.