International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Tahu dan Tempe Bumbu Rujak

Tempeh and tofu

(Indonesian tofu and tempeh in spicy coconut sauce)

Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

This tasty vegetarian curry uses tempeh, a fermented soybean cake popular in Indonesian cuisine. The lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal are for seasoning and are not meant to be eaten. Remove them before serving if you like.

4 to 6 servings


  • Shallots, chopped -- 6 or 7
  • Garlic, crushed -- 4 to 5 cloves
  • Sambal oelek -- 3 to 5 tablespoons
  • Candlenuts or almonds -- 5 to 6
  • Tamarind pulp -- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric -- 1 teaspoon
  • Oil -- 2 to 3 tablespoons
  • Lemongrass, white part only, crushed with a mallet or knife -- 3 stalks
  • Makrut lime leaves -- 4 to 6
  • Galangal, sliced into thin discs -- 1-inch piece
  • Tempeh, cubed -- 1 pound
  • Firm tofu, cubed -- 1 pound
  • Coconut milk -- 2 cups
  • Sugar -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt -- to taste


  1. Place the shallots, garlic, sambal oelek, candlenuts or almonds, tamarind and turmeric into a blender or food processor and puree. Add a little water if necessary to bring the ingredients together.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium high flame. Add the shallot puree and saute until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the crushed lemongrass and lime leaves and saute 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the tempeh, tofu, coconut milk and salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer until coconut milk has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with rice.

Bumbu Rujak Variations

  • Ayam bumbu rujak: Use one chicken, about 2 1/2 lbs and cut into serving pieces, in place of the tofu and tempeh. The chicken can be browned first in hot oil if you like.
  • Telur bumbu rujak: Use 6 or 7 hard-boiled eggs in place of the tofu and tempeh.
  • The cubed tofu can be deep-fried first if you like. Pre-fried tofu cubes can be found at many Asian markets.
  • One medium-sized white onion can be substituted for the shallots.
  • Use all tofu or all tempeh if you prefer.


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