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Ubud’s best fine dining Rijsttafel includes delicious tempeh

Tempe—or tempeh—is a traditional Indonesian food that has its origins in the 12th or 13th century. Who invented this great dish is unknown but the story goes that it was accidentally discovered by a tofu manufacturer. Today, tempe is popular internationally and its claim to fame is mainly due to the nutrient richness and unique taste. Because it contains a lot of proteins, it is in high regard as a meat substitute among vegetarians.

Tempe is made by fermenting soybeans and injecting them with Rhizopus oligosporus (fungus) molds. The beans are usually spread into a thin layer and left to ferment for one or two days in warm temperature ranging between 25 to 30° celsius.

The health benefits are manifold—it is high in protein, in prebiotics and a myriad of vitamins and minerals. It is great for your digestive system thanks to its high fiber content. The fungi as a starting agent produce natural antibiotic substances which protect against harmful organisms.

Tempe is versatile and can be cooked, fried, steamed, seared, grilled, sautéed, just to mention a few methods. However, it should never be consumed raw. Fried tempe is the preferred cooking method in Indonesia where every province has its own fried tempe variety. Central Java, for instance, has Tempeh Mendoan—thinly sliced tempe that is coated with rice flour and a mixture of spices, served warm with its signature chewy texture, savory but with a hint of mild sweet taste. Recently, people have also started to grill cubed tempe as a substitute for chicken in Caesar Salad. Ground tempe can be used as a basic ingredient for meatless meatballs or patties for sandwiches. You see, the possibilities are many!

Our favourite is the tempeh manis that is also served in our Rijsttafel over lunch.
Here is the recipe for this delicious dish, we hope you will try it at home!

6g hot chili
100g shallots
15g garlic
70g red chili
10g galangal
600g tempe
20g canola oil for sautéeing
2.5g bay leaves
15g lemongrass stalk
2g kaffir lime leaves
75ml tamarind juice
40g white sugar
5g salt

Cooking method

  • Grind the spices into a fine paste using mortar or electronic blender.
  • Julienne the tempe and fry until crisp.
  • Pour canola oil into a large pan and wait until smokey, then sauteé the ground spices over low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Add the bay leaves, lemongrass stalk, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind juice, and white sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and almost caramelized.
  • Add tempe and salt, mix well.
  • Best served right out of the pan paired with hot steamed rice and a drizzle of crispy shallots. It is recommended to remove bay leaves and lemongrass stalk before serving.
  • Enjoy!

By admin

Meet Sous-Chef Kadek Singgasana

Kadek has travelled the world as he sailed the seas with several cruise ships for over nine years. The Real Madrid lover has been with us since 2015 and is highly appreciated by the whole team. Find out what motives him and what his challenges are.  

What inspires and motivates you as a chef?
I have a passion for everything culinary. I love the challenge of creating and researching for new menu items. Seeing guests happy and enjoying the food that I have prepared gives me great satisfaction.

Where have you worked before you set anchor at bridges?
After graduating from the Culinary School, I was a trainee in Ritz-Carlton in Jimbaran. After that, I worked on cruise ships from 2005 to 2014 in many different departments, widening my experience. Before joining bridges, I worked in Kuta.

What is your biggest challenge as sous-chef at bridges?
One of my first challenges was to learn each team member’s character as we work with people of various backgrounds in our kitchen. Knowing your team is important and helps transfer knowledge among all of us.  The team here is very helpful and eager to learn. Besides that, they also make a very solid group—one team, one goal. Another challenge that I face is having a broad understandings of every element on our menu. Luckily, I have a very good memory!

What are your favourite dishes at bridges?
This is a tough question. I love all the dishes, each of them having its own characteristics. But, if you insist, I would choose Thai-Inspired Barramundi and Chilled Sambuca-Poached Pear.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I liked to go on Instagram and look for the latest food trends. I also like be in the nature and truly love Bali’s rice terraces. And watching a game of football is a hobby of mine as well.

By bridges Bali

Head Chef at bridges | Restaurant in Ubud

Wayan was born in Tampaksiring to a family of cooks where recipes were passed from one generation to the next. Therefore, Wayan’s decision to become a cook himself was not a big surprise. He is always eager to learn, to create something new and to make experiments. His passion for his métier and for bridges shows on your plate!

After his studies, he went abroad and gained experience by working in Kuwait, the Seychelles, Miami as well as on cruise ships and in well-known restaurants in Bali. Wayan joined bridges in 2014 and was promoted to Head Chef in May 2015. This position was a welcome challenge to him and he is eager to be a good example for his team. Obviously, he is doing a good job about it as he is well loved and respected by everyone.

Wayan likes to spend his free time out in the nature, gardening, growing vegetables, taking care of his pets and being with his family. He and his wife are expecting their second child very shortly. He also likes to do sports.

By the way, his favourite dish from our current menu is the Lamb Trio, three delicious variations of lamb, giving an interesting bouquet of tastes.

Ubud’s best fine dining Rijsttafel includes delicious tempeh
Meet Sous-Chef Kadek Singgasana
Head Chef at bridges | Restaurant in Ubud