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SPAGHETTI TEMPEH with spicy Woku tomato 

No visit to Manado, North Sulawesi in Indonesia is complete without trying Woku, a wonderful blend of different ingredients including turmeric (as in the RASAKU paste), basil, tomato and spring onions.  This features my own woku variation served with spaghetti and tempeh and shown here topped with parsley. 

Serves 2


  • 1 large or 2 medium (70g) echalion shallots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 200-250g tempeh block 

  • Juice of ½ lemon or lime

  • 2 teaspoons (25-30gr) of RASAKU turmeric paste (Add more if you like a spicier dish)

  • 1 can of Italian tomatoes

  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped (optional)

  • A large bunch of basil or parsley (optional)

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or coconut oil

  • 16 cherry tomatoes, roasted

  • 200gr dried spaghetti

Cooking Directions

Preparation: 10 minutes. Total: 25-30 minutes


Chop the tempeh block into cubes and then mince for a few seconds using a food processor. In a medium heated pan add the oil and chopped shallots and sauté for around 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the RASAKU turmeric paste and mix well - it does not matter if the paste does not spread evenly at first. Mix in the minced tempeh, then add the canned tomatoes. Season with salt and black pepper and bring to the boil and simmer for around 10 – 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. 



Bring 2 litres water to the boil in a large pan. Season with salt and add the pasta. Cook for around 12 minutes (or follow the instruction on the pasta packaging).



Pre-heat oven to 180oC. Drizzle the cherry tomatoes with olive oil or sunflower oil and bake for 5-7 minutes.



Add 50 ml water to the tomato mixture. Check the final seasoning. Add a touch of salt and black pepper if necessary. Drain the pasta, divide into 2 portions, add the tempeh sauce, top with cherry tomatoes and parsley/basil and serve.

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