“This would be really good over vanilla ice cream,” my friend Anne Marie Cruz said as she munched on a handful of kering tempe, a spicy Indonesian brittle made from tempe, potatoes, and peanuts. Crunchy, garlicky, and singing with sweet spicy flavor, it’s the only way I can abide the fermented soybean noxiousness that is tempe. Abide is an understatement. I can easily polish off a $7 box of the stuff in a sitting.
We scored the highly addictive snack at OK Indo, one of the stops on a food tour of Southeast Asian Elmhurst and Himalayan Heights that I took Anne Marie, her boyfriend Brant, and their friends on for Brant’s birthday. By the time we got to the Thai-run Tea Cup Café, I’d forgotten all about the kering tempe. That is until Anne Marie ordered some durian ice cream. (more…)