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Tempeh Manis

Prep Time:

20 min

Cook Time:

15 min





About the Recipe

Fried tempeh and peanuts are coated in a sticky, sweet, umami-rich sauce perfumed with lime leaves and lemongrass. It’s a gourmet stir fry that’s surprisingly easy to make.


  • 1 lb tempeh

  • 2 Tbs coconut oil

  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 3 Fresno chili peppers, thinly sliced

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced

  • 4 fresh lime leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced

  • 3/4 cup roasted peanuts

  • 3  1/2 Tbs kecap manis

  • 1  1/2 Tbs coconut sugar

  • 1 Tbs soy sauce

  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. Cut both blocks of tempeh crosswise into very thin slices, almost as thinly as you can. Then stack several slices on top of each other and cut crosswise into tiny slivers.

  2. Fry the tempeh. Heat a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat for a few minutes until hot. Add all the tempeh and season with a couple of pinches of salt, and stir to coat the tempeh with the oil. Spread out the tempeh into an even layer as much as possible and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes to allow browning, then stir.

  3. Repeat this process (cook for 2 minutes undisturbed, then stir) for a total of 10 to 12 minutes, or until most of the tempeh is golden browned and crispy. Lower the heat a touch if the tempeh starts to burn.

  4. Mix together the Sauce ingredients in a small bowl (kecap manis, coconut sugar and soy sauce).

  5. Make the stir fry. Return the frying pan to medium heat and allow to heat up again. Add a touch more oil. Add the shallots, garlic, and chile peppers. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until shallots and garlic start to turn color, 2 to 3 minutes.

  6. Add in the lemongrass, lime leaves, and bay leaf, and cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently.

  7. Increase the heat to medium-high and add in the bell peppers and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

  8. Add the fried tempeh and peanuts to the pan, and toss to coat. Pour in the Sauce, and stir for a couple of minutes, until the sauce clings to the tempeh and coats it well.

  9. Remove the bay leaf. Taste, adding salt as needed. Finish with a squeeze or two of lime juice, if desired.

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