Stir-Fried Tempeh with Fresh Coconut Chutney, Long Beans and Red Grapes

Stir-Fried Tempeh with Fresh Coconut Chutney, Long Beans and Red Grapes

This recipe should have been out few weeks back but with few errands to close off before the long break, it did not get done. Note to self to be better organised in SOTG’s posting schedule. 

Here to celebrate an ingredient I genuinely fancy and love originated from Indonesia, probably island of Java. My late grandmother whenever I visited her used to cook this on daily basis – mostly fried with tumeric and salt. I always ensured no leftover on the plates, she once said I should marry a tempeh factory owner (‘tempeh taukey’).Till today, it consistently be my favourite pick of dish whenever I dine or lunch at Indonesian or Malay stalls for ‘nasi padang’ or ‘nasi campur’.

Basically it is a protein ingredient that is crown high and on top list for many vegans – yet it is hard to find outside South East Asia, not impossible though. In Dubai where I resided before, this can be found at Organic Foods and Cafe, or non-organic at little Indonesian store in Karama (near by Betawi Restaurant sources from here I was told). On this island I can get this from pretty much grocery stores around – so far I’ve seen in Fair Price and Sheng Siong.

Good thing about tempeh is that it is much closer to the original state of soy in whole food form – hugely less processed than soya bean products (such as tofu and soya milk). Benefits include high in calcium absorption just need to up the intake to match cow’s milk (great for non dairy takers), high in manganese mineral (slight less than tofu) for bone production and skin integrity (hello collagen and new skin cells production), copper, fibre, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and magnesium.

Another health benefit is because it is fermented, there is higher rate of digestion for protein and nutrient absorption. If fermentation food is high in your dietary for 2016 here is one excellent ingredients you will not taken lightly.

This versatile vegan protein can be cooked in many ways – steam, grill, stir fry, bake, deep-fried or make a dish out of it. The one I used in this recipe come from a clear plastic packaging (a modern no fuss way) with expiry date. The one I bought previously from Sheng Siong came in  the traditional version wrap in old newspaper and banana leaves (click here to view). This version reminisces my childhood days as I unwrap it to discover the soya bean covered in a thin white soft cotton (result of fermentation process). A bit of black or greyish spots are good to go, so long as no evidence of pink, yellow of blue colouration (as this shows overly fermented).

I enjoyed this simple healthy recipe over lunch and made me full for longer in a fresh, nourishing yet economical way for a great protein dish. The fresh coconut chutney simply wrap around those nice goodies together, the long bean for some crunch bite and red grapes for a bit of sweet fruity hint. Let me know what you think.

Stir Fried Tempeh with Fresh Coconut Chutney, Long Beans and Red Grapes
Total Time
20 mins
Servings: 1
  • 200 g tempeh
  • 1 tea spoon Sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1-3 table spoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium size red onion
  • 3-4 long beans
  • 1 cup of seedless red grapes
Coconut Chutney
  • 1 cup of fresh coconut or 1 cup of dried desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tea spoon of sea salt or Pink Himalayan salt
  1. Cut tempeh block into small cubes
  2. Marinate in salt for 10 minutes
  3. Slice red onion thinly
  4. For coconut chutney, put all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and taste accordingly.
  5. Heat a wok or frying pan in slow temperature and drizzle with olive oil enough to cover the wok or pan. Stir fry the tempeh cubes. Flip one side to another in rotating manner to ensure even cook throughout the tempeh.
  6. Once cook rest the tempeh aside.
  7. Drizzle a bit of olive oil to cover wok or pan surface (if necessary). Pour the sliced onion. Cook in low temperature until onion caramelized (not burnt please).
  8. Pour the tempeh cubes into the caramelized onion and cook till golden for few more minutes. Mix them together. Ensure onion do no burnt as it will be bitter.
  9. Once finish put tempeh and caramelisized aside on a bowl to rest.
  10. Slice long beans thinly about 1-2 millimeters. This should be about a cup full.
  11. Remove grapes from branch. Cut each of grapes into half.
  12. Combine all ingredients and pour half of the chutney. Mix them well and evenly.
  13. Put aside remaining chutney to top up while eating.
  14. Serve warm or cold as salad. Enjoy on its own or with rice.
Recipe Notes

You could steam the tempeh if wish for a little softer version.
Because the tempeh is already marinated with salt, be sure to taste the salt level in the chutney so that not too overpowering when combined together.
As for coconut chutney, you can spice it up with some chilies.
Enjoy. Live to thrive.