• Micah

Sweet & Sour Turmeric Tempeh

I've loved tempeh for years - but my love affair strengthened after 4 weeks in Indonesia. Myself, my best friend, and now hubby went to an AMAZING cooking class outside of Ubud, in Bali, where we learned the ins and outs of Indonesian cuisine, including tempeh. We made tempeh a TON of ways, and this recipe for Sweet & Sour Turmeric Tempeh is inspired by that cooking class many moons ago.

Sweet & Sour Turmeric Tempeh over Greens
Sweet & Sour Turmeric Tempeh

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy bean products, and is higher in protein (by weight) than tofu. If you've never tried it, you'll be surprised how versatile it is - and if you're a tofu hater, give tempeh a try! The texture is totally different. It's crumbly, dry, and ready to be a hearty protein-rich addition to any recipe. You can now find tempeh is most major retailers, but check out your local "health food shop" to see if they carry it as well. It's typically and traditionally made using soy beans, but these days smaller producers are using things like chickpeas, mung beans and black beans to create higher end tempeh. My tip? If you live by a trader joes, check there as it's the most affordable one I've seen yet. If you're gluten free, you'll want to make sure that your tempeh is too. Some brands also add grains into their blend (Trader Joes included), like millet or rice, so just be sure that's you have the green light to buy and enjoy your tempeh!

What is Indonesian cuisine?

Indonesian cuisine in truly one of my faves. Because Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands, there's a lot of different facets of Indonesian food. I spent nearly a month in Indonesia back in 2015, and visited 5 islands, so I've probably barely scratched the surface. Staples in Indonesian cuisine include RICE. and lots of it. Steamed rice is served with every meal, and I can't resist a plate of nasi goreng, a sort of fried rice dish. The best part? Vegetarianism is pretty common in Indonesia, meaning there are loads of naturally veggie dishes to get excited about. My favorite dish by far is "gado-gado", which is steamed veg, tempeh and a creamy peanut sauce. Sign me up! Tempeh is seen as a Javanese invention, and in Indonesian cuisine, there's ;ots of tempeh, tons of peanut sauce, and full of colourful veggies, but it also has punchy spices, like turmeric, chillis, ginger, garlic and sambal.

I load this recipe up with vibrant turmeric to make it brighten up even the gloomiest London Monday's.This recipe for Sweet & Sour Tempeh is perfect over top salads, grain bowls, or over steamed greens.

Looking for more Tempeh recipes? Check out my Peanut Tempeh Lettuce Cups recipe!

#tempehrecipes #tempeh #sweetandsour #turmeric #indonesianrecipe


Sweet & Sour Turmeric Tempeh

Author: Micah Siva

Total time: 20 min

Serves: 3


  • 200g block tempeh, cubed

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped

  • 1 tsp soya sauce

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

  • 1 bell pepper, sliced

  • 2 red chillis, sliced (or 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes)

  • Pinch black pepper

  • 1 tbsp oil


  1. In a bowl, combine tempeh, garlic, ginger, soya sauce, lime juice, honey, pepper, chillis, salt, and pepper. Let sit for 10 minutes.

  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.

  3. Add marinated tempeh mixture. Cook until liquid has evaporated and the peppers are tender (5-10 minutes).

  4. Enjoy!

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