Recipe Bacem Tempeh Tofu

Tahu Tempe Bacem is a traditional Indonesian dish known for its sweet and savory flavors. Bacem refers to a cooking technique where the ingredients are braised in a sweet soy sauce mixture until caramelized and infused with spices. This dish is not only delicious but also easy to make at home. Here's how you can prepare it.


  • 250g tofu, cut into cubes
  • 250g tempeh, cut into cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (gula Jawa)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste, dissolved in 100ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • Cooking oil for frying


  1. Fry the Tofu and Tempeh: Heat cooking oil over medium heat. Fry the tofu and tempeh cubes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and set aside.

  2. Make the Sauce: In the same pan, discard excess oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Sauté minced garlic until fragrant. Add bay leaves, palm sugar, sweet soy sauce, tamarind water, and salt. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.

  3. Braise the Tofu and Tempeh: Put the fried tofu and tempeh back into the pan. Add water and let it simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the tofu and tempeh absorb the flavors.

  4. Serve: Once done, remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Tahu Tempe Bacem is best served warm with steamed rice.


  • Marinate the tofu and tempeh cubes with salt and pepper before frying for extra flavor.
  • Adjust the dish's sweetness by adding more or less palm sugar according to your preference.
  • For a spicier kick, add sliced chili peppers or a dash of chili powder to the sauce.


  • Vegetarian Version: For a healthier, vegetarian option, skip the frying step and simmer the tofu and tempeh in the sauce.
  • Coconut Milk Addition: Replace some water with coconut milk for a richer flavor.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories per serving: Approximately 200 calories (calculated based on a serving size of 1/4 of the recipe)


Tahu Tempe Bacem is a delightful Indonesian dish showcasing the archipelago's sweet and savory flavors. You can recreate this dish in your kitchen with simple ingredients and easy steps. Whether enjoyed as a main course or a side dish, it will surely satisfy your taste buds with its rich and aromatic taste.


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