Every time I eat tempeh, I appreciate it more. To me, it’s kind of like a more sophisticated cousin to tofu, with more of its own flavor, and a great nutritional profile.
Originating in Indonesia, tempeh is a fermented soybean product. Unlike tofu, it’s made from whole soybeans, making it nutritionally superior, and creating a totally different texture. The fermentation process gives it a strong flavor and also adds nutritional benefits.
With the simple addition of a little tamari, herb salt or any of your favorite seasonings, tempeh can easily be grilled in strips, cubes or cutlets for a quick and easy protein fix. If you want to try something more adventurous, the following recipe comes highly recommended.
yields 1 large skillet
4 (8 0z.) cakes of organic tempeh
2-3 T. sesame oil
1 t. tamari
1-2 cloves garlic
4 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
tamari, for marinating
1 onion, sliced in half moons
10 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
3 1/2 C. water
3 T. liquid bouillon
3 T. molasses
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 t. ginger powder
3 1/2 T. arrowroot powder
3 T. miso (dark)
nutritional yeast, sprinkle
1. Steam tempeh (in a steamer basket) until warm all the way through and let cool.
2. In a blender, blend oil, tamari, garlic cloves, one tablespoon ginger and just enough water to cover the blades. It will blend into a thick, creamy marinade.
3. Cut tempeh into large bite-sized cubes and marinate in blended mixture along with extra tamari. Stir to coat.
4. In a large saucepan, sauté remaining fresh ginger and garlic in sesame or other oil. Add onion, mushrooms and peppers and cook until softened, about seven minutes.
5. In a blender, blend 3 1/2 cups of water, bouillon, molasses, garlic powder, onion powder, ginger powder, arrowroot and miso. Pour this mixture into the pot with the vegetables. Allow to thicken, stirring continuously. Do not boil.
6. In a large, oiled cast-iron skillet, fry tempeh chunks with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. When they have browned a bit, add the thickened sauce to the skillet and bake for an hour at 350°, allowing the sauce to saturate the tempeh.
(If you are using a regular skillet to fry the tempeh, transfer to a casserole dish before baking.)
Serve over brown rice, or any whole grain of your choice.