Foods at Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia, San Fransisco

Nasi uduk, bittermelon, balado eggplant and shrimp, vermicelli, kerupuk, rempeyek, egg opor, pisang goreng, martabak. ❤❤❤

Special note for the bittermelon, there was a kick of fish paste “terasi” that went incredibly well. My best bittermelon dish ever!
By Ibu Sri, from Cilacap.

37-hour Indonesian Smashed Pork Ribs

Again, melting pork ribs cooked for 37 hours, smashed with Indonesian fresh ground chili paste (sambal ulek). My pork shoulder roast has been beaten.

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37-hour Mom-style Sweet Soy Sauce Pork

One of my family’s winning dishes honed. Nothing so fancy – ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, pork ribs. Cooked for 37 hours sous vide then seared under broiler. The meat melted in my mouth, the sauce infused the rice, the ginger transformed into a sweet kick, the pork fat and gelatin mixed with the sauce.

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Mom-style Spaghetti

Winning children’s heart is another level of cooking. This dish, perfected over generations from my grandmother, has won many children’s hearts – made them think that my birthday happened everyday and they could go to my house anytime to eat my mom’s spaghetti.

Nothing fancy – onion, garlic, oregano, Worcester sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, minced beef, any cheese (even we got used to Indonesian’s almost-tasteless cheese), salt, pepper. The sauce usually went out first and we ate the hot leftover pasta with melted Indonesian cheese.

Making and eating this dish really cured my homesick.

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Indonesian “Pecel” with Homemade Bawang Goreng

Indonesian pecel is  mix of blanched/boiled/steamed vegetable with savory peanut sauce containing ground shallots, chili, palm sugar, salt, and sometimes candle nut. With the obligatory kerupuk (Indonesian cracker) and bawang goreng (fried shallots), this dish brings multiple layers of sensations – freshness of the vegetables, richness of the nutty spicy sauce, added depth of the fried shallots, and crunchiness from kerupuk.



  • Peanut
  • Shallots
  • Chili
  • Candle nut
  • Palm sugar
  • Salt


  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Beansprouts
  • French green bean


  • Shallots
  • Kerupuk


  1. Blanch the vegetables in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until vibrant, strain
  2. Ground all the sauce ingredients and add boiling water until slightly watery
  3. Coat sliced shallots with flour, fry until golden brown
  4. Fry kerupuk until well-expanded
  5. Serve with a dash of sweet soy sauce (kecap)

The Second #TempeChallenge

2nd Tempe Challenge Publish.jpg

It had been two years since the first Tempe Challenge. I did not take that lean body for granted anymore. My metabolism was different, it stored fat more easily. I was also struggling in the United States with the temptation of western foods. And after I found my passion in the culinary arts, I could not sacrifice cooking and eating just for the sake of bodybuilding anymore.

My goal this time was to feel and look healthy again after a very intense 3-week culinary trip to Chicago, London, Oxford, Chipping Campden, Darmstadt, and Paris.

The main focus was still to use tempeh as the main protein source, but I combined it with fasting and shaping the gut microbiota. I used fasting to regain the joy of eating after the trip. Gut microbiota are the germs in our gut that can contribute whether we store fat more easily or the opposite and we can ‘shape’ them. High-fat diets were reported to increase the amount of microbiota in the Firmicutes group, which is correlated with obesity. In contrast, high-carbohydrate, vegetable, and fruit diets increased microbiota in the Bacteroidetes group. This is identical with lean individuals.

After a tough one-day fasting, with only Icelandic dried fish and coconut water, I carried on to the next days. I slowly increased my meal portion to regular increments with tempeh incorporated low-fat foods.

I have included a detailed program of the challenge which includes a severe food allergy reaction that got me hospitalized and made a slight change in my diet.

Again, this is not a scientific examination because the only control that I had was tempeh consumption and fasting. This diet was an effort to show tempeh as my main protein source and that I could still be healthy and move forward in shaping my body.”Enough! I need food that does not harm me!”

This is what I said to myself after a 3-week culinary trip. The food was great, I cherished every meal, and I got lots of culinary insight. However, the taste of a lean, fresh, and wholesome meal was missing. On top of that, I noticed that I did not feel healthy; my cheeks were bloated and my body felt heavy after the trip.

The following weeks after my trip, I began eating a meatless diet to reduce facial bloating; this had worked for me previously. To reshape my gut microbiota I additionally reduced my fat intake and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.

I realized that as I was changing my diet, I was in actuality participating in The Tempe Challange again. I was depending on tempe, also known as “tempeh”, as a main protein source.

The Tempe Challenge is a resource used to build muscle mass by eating tempeh as a protein source. I had developed and initiated this idea in 2014 to increase the awareness on tempeh as a cheap, environmentally friendly, and tasty protein source. In this book, I document how I went through the steps of the challenge in a much more robust way. It includes how I developed some out-of-the-box tempeh recipes to keep the journey exciting.

Again, this is not a scientific examination because the only control that I had was tempeh consumption and fasting. This diet was an effort to show tempeh as my main protein source and that I could still be healthy and move forward in shaping my body.

Daily Log Example

Thursday (12/22/2016)

Program: Sleep at the airport
Foods: Tempe tikka masala, rice; 3 pao de queijo, 1/4 cup of red wine, 1/4 cup of white wine; 2/3 portion of pork chop and freekeh salad; 3 pao de queijo, 2/3 portion of pork chop and freekeh salad, TempeBar; 3 pao de queijo
Friday (12/23/2016)
Program: 30 hours of flight to Indonesia
Foods: 2/3 portion of pork chop and freekeh salad, a cup of mixed fruits, 1 pretzel; miso noodle, bean salad, bread with butter, rice crackers
Saturday (12/24/2016)
Foods: Tiny turkey and cheese sandwich, 1/2 cup of french toast, 1 cup of fruits; 1 cup of ginger pork, rice, 3 sushi, 1/2 cup of unagi; 1/2 cup of rice, 3 pcs of fried chicken, 1 pc of potato, vegetables, 1/4 cup of chocolate cake, 1/4 cup of Japanese beer
Sunday (12/25/2016)
Program: 0.5 mi run, 3 sets of full body exercises to failure
Foods: Pao de queijo, butternut squash soup; yellow rice, small fried chicken, potatoes, vegetable, crackers, apple, tempe stir-fry, tempe chips, dry tempe; rice, potatoes, watercress, tempe stir-fry, dry tempe
Monday (12/26/2016)
Program: 3 sets of pull ups and push ups to failure
Foods: apple, macadamia nuts, tiny bread, 1/4 cup of granola, dried tempe; rice, tempe stir-fry, yellow rice, potatoes, tiny fried chicken, crackers; uduk rice, fried chicken, chili, crackers, coleslaw
Tuesday (12/27/2016)
Program: 3 sets of full body workout to failure
Foods: egg, apple, rice; rice, tempe, chili, 1/4 cup of chicken, crackers; rice, a piece of chicken leg, chili, cassava leaves
Wednesday (12/28/2016)
Program: morning walk, 3 sets of full body workout to failure
Foods: egg, rice porridge; fried rice, watercress, mussels; noodle with shredded chicken, mushroom, and wontons; bread, salami, butter, orange
Thursday (12/29/2016)
Program: morning walk, 3 sets of full body workout to failure
Foods: bread; rice, tempe, vegetable; sirloin steak, mashed potato
Friday (12/30/2016)
Program: morning run (3.85 mi), full body workout
Foods: omlette, bread; papaya flower, rice, fish; ribeye steak, pizza
Saturday (12/31/16)
Program: morning walk and run
Foods: noodle, shredded chicken, mushroom, wonton; pear, rice, papaya flower, fish, tempe; beef burger
Sunday (1/1/17)
Program: morning walk, full body workout
Foods: chocolate bread; rice, vegetable; beef burger
Monday (1/2/17)
Program: morning walk, 1 set of full body workout
Foods: beef burger; rice, vegetable, fish; fried rice, fried noodle
Monday (1/30/17)
Program: run (2.6 mi)
Foods: rice noodle, tempe soup, banana, apple, orange
Tuesday (1/31/17)
Program: run (2.8 mi)
Foods: rice noodle, fried chicken, tempe char siu, tempe katsu, banana, apple, orange
Wednesday (2/1/17)
Program: run (2.6 mi)
Foods: tempe wonton, 1/2 rice, 1/4 char siu, banana, apple, orange, tempe matzo balls, fempe char siu
Thursday (2/2/17)
Program: run (1.5 mi)
Foods: tempe pie, 1/2 cup rice, 1/2 cup char siu, 1/2 cup oxtail, 1/4 cup rice, 1/2 cup noodle
Feeling: exhausted


Indonesian Beet Martabak


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of yeast (optional for taste)
  • 1/2-2/3 cup of water from boiled beet
  • Margarine for pan and toppings
  • Toppings


  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth and a little bit bubbly, pourable
  2. Heat non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Pour batter and spread to the side. If bubbles don’t come out, set heat higher.
  3. Wait until there are holes on the surface, then cover pan with lid until it is cooked thoroughly.

Home-fermented Indonesian fried Tempe / Tempeh

This is the mos beautiful thing I’ve ever made so far.


  • 1 cup of dry soybean
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp of vinnegar
  • 1 pinch of Tempe starter (“ragi tempe” on eBay)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt
  • Sweet soy sauce


  • Large pot or sauce pan
  • Strainer
  • Kitchen towel
  • Plastic bag (punctured every 1/2 inch)
  • Frying pan


  1. Soak soybean in a pot with 3 times amount of water overnight
  2. Crush soybean with hand until it splits and the skin floats
  3. Remove as much skin as possible
  4. Boil in 2 times amount of water for 1 hour
  5. Drain and spread the beans on kitchen towel and dry it until it’s dry to touch
  6. Remove it into a dry bowl, add vinnegar and mix well
  7. Add tempe starter and wix well
  8. Scoop the beans into plastic bag, making about 1 inch thick
  9. Put it on rack with good air circulation. Keep it in warm room temperature (~75 F or 26-30 degree Celsius).
  10. It’s done when it’s solid white, to stop the fermentation put it in the fridge (stop it as soon as you see some black spots)
  11. Cut and fry in oil until golden brown, sprinkle with salt and enjoy with sweet soy sauce.

Fried Fresh Fish with Indonesian Dipping

My kind of comfort food!


  • Fresh fish, cleaned, scaled
  • Frying oil, I used canola
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sweet soy sauce
  • 1/2 piece Tomato, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest


  1. Heat oil until 350 F
  2. Salt fish by rubbing
  3. Fry fish
  4. Dry with paper towl
  5. Sprinkle more salt to taste
  6. In a separate bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients
  7. Serve with warm white rice and basil leaves (optional)