Telur Bacem is Indonesian-style braised sweet soy sauce eggs. They are sweet and savory with tons of flavor, perfect for a side dish to any meal or as a snack.
Those who have been to Indonesia, particularly Yogyakarta, might be familiar with this dish. Telur Bacem is sweet marinated eggs, usually served together with bacem-style tempeh and tofu with rice, or as a side dish in soto ayam (Indonesian chicken noodle soup).
The hard-boiled eggs are marinated in aromatic spices for a long time until the spices seep into the eggs. They are sweet, savory, and flavorful. If you are an egg lover like me, you can’t miss this Telur Bacem recipe.
What is Telur Bacem?
Telur Bacem or bacem eggs are hard-boiled eggs cooked in bacem process, originating from Central Java and Yogyakarta regions. The term Bacem refers to a traditional food processing method to preserve foods, usually tempeh and tofu, by soaking them in sugar or salt water so that they can last for a longer time.
People from those areas love the sweet taste. They like to add palm or brown sugar to the spice marinade. Then, the foods are braised in the marinade until the sauce is reduced and the eggs have a deep brown color.
Tips For Peeling The Eggs Easily
- Use older eggs. When cooked, fresh egg whites bond strongly to the inner shell’s membrane. As the eggs get older, the shells absorb more air, become more acidic, and the inner membrane is less likely to bond to the albumen, so the shell peels off much easier.
- Cool the cooked eggs in a cold water bath. It stops the cooking process and will shock the membrane in between the egg whites and the shell, loosening the shell and allowing you to peel them easier.
- Cracks the shells thoroughly. Use the back of a spoon or roll the eggs on the counter, creating cracks all over. This process helps loosen the shell.
- Peel underwater. If you start to peel an egg and find it hard to peel, peeling it under running water or directly in water helps release the shell.
How to Make Telur Bacem
- Grind toasted candlenuts and coriander seeds into powder with a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Add shallots and garlic and grind into a thick paste.
- In a big wok or frying pan, stir fry the paste with a little bit of oil until fragrant. Then, add lemongrasses, salam leaves, ginger, and galangal. Stir fry for another 1 minute.
- Add coconut water, water, kecap manis or sweet soy sauce, tamarind, shaved palm sugar block, salt, and ground pepper. Stir to combine.
- Gently drop in the hard-boiled eggs one by one. Turn the heat to medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once the mixture boils, lower to low heat and simmer the eggs for 1 hour, stirring the eggs every 15 minutes for even color on the eggs’ surface.
- Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let the eggs soak in the braising liquid for at least 12 hours or overnight to make the eggs darker in color and absorb the seasonings better.
What to Do With The Leftover Sauce
You can save the braising sweet soy sauce stock in the fridge or in the freezer until you are ready to use it again. You can braise more eggs or so many other things, such as quail eggs, tempeh, and firm tofu. Unlike cooking eggs, braising quail eggs, tempeh, and tofu can be done in just 20-30 minutes.