top of page

Smoked BBQ Sambal Tempeh

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

This recipe is featured in my ECookbook:

BBQ Sambal Stingray is an iconic Singapore dish and I was supposed to share this recipe on the 9th of August to celebrate Singapore's 56th independence. The fact of the matter is, I wasn't happy with my 1st attempt.

It felt rushed, tasted pretty blend and I couldn't bring myself to share that recipe with you lovely people. Besides, our national day celebration is postponed to 21st August (what an excuse eh?)

That's an epic fail...

Eventually, I decided to sit down and take the time to craft this recipe thoroughly, rather than just slapped the tempeh with some sambal, smoked it and called it BBQ Sambal Tempeh.

Speaking of which, you must be wondering why tempeh and not stingray. Seaspiracy happened and if you have not watched the documentary on Netflix, I suggest you do. We are doing more harm and damage to this planet than we can possibly fathom.

Plant-based food doesn't have to be boring, we just need to treat them the same way as we cook our meat.

I figured that most of you lovely might not have a backyard or a stovetop smoker, so I introduced liquid smoke into the brine as well as the glaze. All you need to do is allow the oven to do its job. I know that it is a long list of ingredients. But, once you prepped them, it is just brinning, glazing, sprinkling and roasting.

Be sure to use the best quality of tempeh that you can find. It makes all the difference. By any chance, if you are in Singapore, there is no reason why you shouldn't use Angie's tempeh. It is 100% organic and plant-based. I know that banana leaves are pretty scarce in most parts of the world, if you can't get your hands on banana leaves, you can use parchment paper. In closing, I hope you will give this recipe a try.



(Serve 4)

  • Tempeh:

  • Tempeh Preferably Angie's Tempeh, 2 Large Slices (200g Each)

  • Banana Leaves, 2 Large For Wrapping and 2 Strips For Serving

  • Brine:

  • Water, 500g

  • Liquid Smoke, 6g

  • Sea Salt, 26g

  • Spice Rub:

  • Mustard Seeds, 3/4 TBSP

  • White Peppercorns, 1/2 TBSP

  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 TBSP

  • Onion Powder, 1/2 TBSP

  • Garlic Powder, 1/2 TBSP

  • Gula Melaka, 40g

  • Sambal Glaze:

  • Molasses, 25g

  • Liquid Smoke, 13g

  • Soy Sauce, 7g

  • Sambal Homemade, 2 TBSP (Adjust To Preference)

  • Garnishes:

  • Pickled Cucumbers & Onions Homemade, For Garnishing

  • Dried Coriander, For Garnishing



  • Cast Iron Skillet

  • Oven

  • Spice Grinder



  1. Please visit my "How To Make Sambal" page for the recipe.

  2. Please visit my "How To Pickle Almost Anything" page for the recipe.

  3. Prepare the tempeh.

  4. I am using Angie's tempeh as their tempeh is 100% organic and plant-based. You should use the best quality of tempeh that you can find. It makes all the difference.

  5. Wash banana leaves thoroughly and pad them dry with a kitchen towel.

  6. Lightly toast the leaves over an open fire. This will brings out more flavors.

  7. Set them aside until ready to use.

  8. Prepare the brine.

  9. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients until the salt has dissolved.

  10. I separate the brine into 2 bowls as tempeh tends to float.

  11. Place the tempeh into the 2 separate bowls of brine.

  12. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 24 hrs.

  13. Prepare the spice rub.

  14. Toast mustard, white peppercorns and cumin in a skillet until aromatic.

  15. Transfer into a spice grinder and blitz until powder forms.

  16. Add in onion powder, garlic powder and gula melaka.

  17. Blitz until well combine and the gula melaka has broken down into a powder.

  18. Prepare the glaze.

  19. Mix everything until well combined.

  20. Once everything is prepped and tempeh has brined, start roasting.

  21. Preheat oven to 205 degrees celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  22. Steam the tempeh together with the brine, for 10 mins. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  23. *This will remove most of the bitterness and also infused the tempeh with more of the brine flavors.*

  24. Place 2 large banana leaves onto 2 large parchment paper.

  25. Once the tempeh is cool enuff to handle, remove the tempeh from the brine and place them onto the banana leaves.

  26. Brush the glaze onto the tempeh, coating them fully.

  27. Dust with the spice rub, reserving 1/4 for a later stage.

  28. Yes! On both sides.

  29. Wrap the tempeh with the banana leaves and parchment paper.

  30. Transfer onto a baking tray, wack into the oven and bake for 10 mins.

  31. Remove from the oven, carefully unwrap as it is piping hot, brush the tempeh with more of the glaze and dust with the remaining spice rub.

  32. Return into the oven, unwrapped, and bake for 5 to 10 mins or until the glaze has almost dried up.

  33. Remove from the oven and transfer onto serving plates with fresh banana leaves.

  34. Garnish with pickled cucumbers, onion and sprinkle some dried coriander over the top.

  35. Serve immediately.

Beautiful isn't it? Be sure to use the best quality of tempeh that you can find.

The perfect bite?


Recipe Video:


This recipe is featured in my ECookbook:

37 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page