Noodle Salad with Creamy Tempe Dressing


I have soft spot for Asian style noodle salad. The mixture of crunchy vegetables and firm cold noodles combine with sweet and spicy salad dressing is so addictive. I’ve made it pretty often, sometimes with light Asian vinaigrette or creamier dressing with peanut or tahini base.  

This noodle salad completely inauthentic recipe, inspired by Sate Ambal. It is a traditional dish from Kebumen, central Java. Usually sate (satay) served with peanut sauce but sate ambal serve with tempe sauce.



Chicken and Noodle Salad

  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • 300g egg noodles or soba noodles
  •  100g cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 50g bean sprout, blanch in hot water
  • 2 scallions, white and green part, sliced diagonally
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

 Tempe Dressing 

  • 200g tempe
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 red chillies, optional
  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 15o ml water
  • salt and sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  • Tempe dressing: Place tempe, garlic, shallot and red chillies in a steaming basket over boiling water; cover and cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Remove all the ingredients from steamer and let it cool down.
  • Place steamed tempe, garlic, shallot, chillies and ginger in a food processor. Process until it become thick paste and no lump.
  • Add tempe paste and water into a medium saucepan, stir well. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickened, stir gradually. Turn off the heat when the  sauce has thickened. Stir in kecap manis, sesame oil and lime juice. Season with salt and sugar if needed.
  • For the salad: Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles to al-dente according to the package directions. Drain, rinse, and cool.
  • Mix together the cooked noodles, shredded chicken, cucumbers, bean sprouts and scallions. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together. Transfer to serving plate , garnish with scallion and sesame seeds.







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