Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

Tempeh and Terung (Eggplant) in Sweet Soy Chili Sauce

Tempeh and Terung (Eggplant) in Sweet Soy Chili Sauce

You are the Tempeh to my Terung

There is just something about the combination of the fried crunchy tempeh against the softness of the terung/aubergine/brinjal and that sweet, spicy and addictive soy chili glaze. A dish that was made up by Ili Sulaiman when she was serving a local Malaysian home cooked meal for some of her vegan friends when she was based in the UK. A classic go to dish which goes so well with cooked rice and some steamed vegetables. The sauce can also be used as a pouring sauce for your steamed tofu or a dipping sauce for sour mangoes 🙂


200g tempeh cut into cubes (if you are not a fan of tempeh you can use hard tofu cubes instead)

100g Terung/Aubergines/brinjal cut into cubes

1 x shallots chopped finely

4 x cloves garlic pounded

6 x birds eye chili chopped finely (for extra spicy add more but for less spicy reduce quantity)

6 x table spoons kicap manis (thick sweet soy sauce)

1 x tablespoon kicap pekat (thick/dark soy sauce)

3 x table spoon kicap cair (light soy sauce)

1 x table spoon turmeric powder

6 x tablespoons cooking oil

¼ cup water


STEP 1 – Prep

Marinate tempeh with turmeric powder and set a side.

STEP 2 – Start Frying

In a pan with the oil, fry the cut up aubergine until brown and drain on a kitchen towel. Next fry up the tempeh and remove when slightly brown. Drain on a kitchen towel and set aside. Should you wish not to fry anything, take a tablespoon of oil and coat your tempeh and aubergines and using a non stick pan brown the tempeh and aubergine until brown.

STEP 3 – Make the sauce

In the same pan, heat oil and add in the pounded garlic, onion and chili and stir well (for about 6 – 8 minutes). Next add in the water and all the soy sauce (light, dark and sweet) and cook until  the sauce thickens. Lastly add the pre cooked tempeh and terung and fold mixture until combined

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2 thoughts on “Tempeh and Terung (Eggplant) in Sweet Soy Chili Sauce”

  • I made this today and it was so delicious! Thank you so much for sharing.
    With the water you have listed in the ingredients – when do you suggest to add it in?

    • Hi Lia! So glad you like this recipe! This was contributed by another food influencer, Ili Sulaiman, who is mentioned as the author of this blogpost. But based on my cooking experience, I’d say to add the water after frying the garlic, onion and chili. I’ve edited the recipe accordingly. Thanks for spotting this missing step!

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