Tempeh sandwich recipe by Dewakan's chef Darren Teoh

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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A tempeh sandwich recipe has been on our to-do list for the longest time. It’s perfect for days when you need a quick meal while on the go that ticks both the flavour and protein nutrition box.

For that, we got chef Darren Teoh, the man behind Dewakan — Malaysia’s only entry on the Asia’s 50 Best List to formulate a recipe for the tempeh sandwich. He’s best known for using long forgotten ingredients native to Malaysia and drops one signature ingredient into his recipe: budu mayonnaise

Budu is a fish sauce from the northern parts of Malaysia and southern Thailand. It’s made by fermenting anchovies in salt for up to 200 days resulting in a sauce with a deep throbbing umami flavour. If you’re on a plant-based diet, fear not as we’ve made substitutions using plant-based ingredients.

All that goodness is stuffed into any kind of bread that you like but we’ve used Starter Lab’s signature miso baguette. The famed bakery from Bali was started by Min Sia and Emerson Manibo, a chef formerly from New York’s Per Se. It supplies to Indonesia’s best restaurants like Locavore and has landed in Singapore on Havelock Road.

We can’t think of anything more beautiful than putting together a sandwich recipe by Malaysia’s most prominent chef using our own tempeh made in Singapore, with acclaimed bread by a bakery born in Bali, Indonesia. In other words, this is the region’s culinary DNA cocooned into one sandwich. Enjoy.


      For tempeh
    • 100g of tempeh
    • 2 tbsp of oil for light frying
    • 2 tbsp chilli powder
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • For pickled cucumber
    • 1 Japanese cucumber
    • 150 ml rice vinegar
    • 150 ml mirin (substitute: brown rice syrup)
    • 10g sugar and salt to taste
    • For dressing
    • 3 tbsp of mayonnaise (get vegan mayonnaise here)
    • 1 tbsp of budu sauce (get vegetarian belacan here)
    • Sprinkling of vegetarian furikake
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Everything else
    • 1 baguette
    • Iceberg lettuce


    For the pickled cucumber
  1. Combine the mirin, vinegar, sugar and salt into a sauce pan and warm the mixture to dilute the sugar and salt.
  2. Slice cucumbers into 1 cm rounds and sprinkle salt on the cucumbers. Leave for about 15 minutes, then lightly rinse and pat dry.
  3. Fill the cucumbers into a pickling jar and pour in the cooled pickling liquid. Leave in the chiller overnight.
  4. As the salt dissolves, cut tempeh into long french fry strips.
    For dressing
  1. If using vegetarian belacan, dissolve 1 tsp into 1 tsp of hot water.
  2. Combine with mayonnaise and stir well.
    To assemble
  1. Cut tempeh into desired size (we prefer thick strips) and season with chilli powder and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the tempeh
  3. Remove tempeh and allow to rest. Meanwhile, place lettuce into the baguette
  4. Add tempeh and pickled cucumber
  5. Spoon dressing on the tempeh and pickled cucumber. Finish by sprinkling furikake over.