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Authentic Recipe of Tahu Tempe Bacem. Delicious Indonesian Traditional Sweet Tempeh and Tofu from Central Java.

This recipe of Tahu Tempe Bacem is authentic and traditional, as native housewives and cooks from Central Java locally curate it.

Things to know about Tahu Tempe Bacem Recipe

Baceman, or simply bacem is a method of preserving food that is unique to the Central Javanese Cities in Indonesia, like Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Semarang, and Magelang. Tahu Tempe Bacem is especially popular in Yogyakarta and is thought to be first invented there due to Yogyakarta’s people’s fondness for sweet delicacies. Tahu Tempe Bacem can be performed on different types of food, but the most common are the two soy-based products, tempeh and tahu (tofu).

Bacem, in Javanese, translates into “soaked in salt or sugar water to preserve.” In preserving foods, a high concentration of salt and sugar will prevent bacterial growth and lengthen the shelf life of foods.

Historically, the idea to create Tahu Tempe Bacem might have stemmed from the colonial era in Indonesia in the early 19th century. As times were hard, people were thinking of a way to store food that was easy to obtain and had a long shelf life. At that time, most people in central Java were forced to work on sugarcane farms, and thus the idea of using sugar to create food was born.

Sugar and coriander were the two easily obtained spices at that time, and combining both in a pot and adding the food of choice (in this case, tofu and tempeh) is the easiest cooking method, by letting the flavor seeped into the food. You would not want to miss out on this dish!

Delicious Indonesian Traditional Sweet Tempeh and Tofu from Central Java. Authentic Recipe of Tahu Tempe Bacem.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Tahu Tempe Bacem
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Main Ingredient Group Soy Product based Recipes
Spice Level No Spicy Recipes


Servings 10 Servings
Calories / Serving 74 kcal


  • 10 pcs Tempeh
  • 10 pcs White Tofu
  • 5 pcs Bay Leaf
  • 1 thumb Fresh Galangal – Kencur – Aromatic Ginger – Kaempferia Galanga – Sand Ginger – Cutcherry – Resurrection Lily
  • 1 Liter (33.81 floz) Coconut Water
  • 75 grams (2.65 oz) Palm Sugar – Palm Jaggery
  • 3 tbsp Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce – Kecap Manis
  • 2 tbsp Tamarind Juice
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Blended Spices

  • 6 pcs Shallot Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp Fresh Coriander
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • Firstly, we need to prepare the blended spices. Into a food processor, add the garlic, shallots, coriander, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  • Prepare a pot, add the coconut water along with the tofu, tempeh, bruised galangal, bay leaves, and the blended spices. Bring it to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add palm sugar and Indonesian Sweet soy sauce. Mix well.
  • Turn down the heat and simmer until most of the water has evaporated and the sauces have seeped into the tofu and tempeh.
  • Add the tamarind juice and mix well, turn off the heat and take out the tofu and tempeh.
  • The dish is ready to be served. You can opt to fry the tempeh and tofu.

Frying (Optional)

  • Prepare a wok. Pour enough oil for deep-frying and bring to heat.
  • Deep-fry the tempeh and tofu until brown, not too long as this will crisp the skin and remove the delicious juice and spices.
  • The dish is ready.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Healthy Diet Recipe Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes


Calories: 74kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 452mgPotassium: 268mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 32IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Indonesian Traditional Sweet Tempeh and Tofu, Tahu Tempe Bacem Recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cooking tip for making

You can adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar and soy sauce.

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What to serve with

This dish is best served with warm white rice and a serving of fresh sambal.

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