Some people say tempeh is the vegan and vegetarian’s substitute for meat. I will never tell you that tempeh tastes like meat. I will never tell you that I try to make my plant-based meals taste like meat. I really just want them to taste delicious. And tempeh is just that, delicious.
Tempeh is one of those foods most of us don’t know how to prepare, what it tastes like or what it is! Tempeh is a fermented soy product; it's made with the whole soybean with very little processing. It's also very high in protein, which makes it an excellent plant-based protein source. It has a bit of a nutty and mushroom flavour. You can bake it, fry it or grill it. But first it needs a bit prep…so I called Karen, my veggie friend from Nutrilicious and we got busy in the kitchen with tempeh.
We started by steaming the tempeh, this helps it stay moist and absorb flavours. It can be a bit bitter tasting straight out of the package so give it a quick steam before using. Just place the whole block of tempeh into a saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the water, pat dry and then you are ready to go with any recipe. We loved this Baked Tempeh with Peanut Sauce recipe for its crispy tempeh and creamy peanut sauce. The marinade comes together quickly in the food processor and you can adjust the seasoning, I like it a bit more spicy and Karen liked it a bit more sweet.
Just so you know… my in-house taste tester said this chicken is delicious!
Baked Tempeh with Peanut Sauce
This recipe serves 4
8 ounces tempeh, one package
1 tsp chili garlic sauce or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, more if you like it spicy
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter or almond butter
6 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
3 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
pinch of salt
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 stalk lemongrass, remove ends and chop into small pieces
sesame seeds, to sprinkle on top, optional
Directions for the Tempeh
1. Place tempeh in medium saucepan and cover with water; bring to a boil over medium heat. Steam tempeh for about 10 minutes.
2. Once steamed remove tempeh from saucepan and pat dry.
3. Cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.
Directions for the Marinade
1. In the bowl of a food processor make the marinade by adding the chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, turmeric, garlic, salt and lemongrass. Blend until well combined. You may want to have a taste to adjust flavours. I like mine with a bit of extra chili sauce.
2. Place the tempeh in a bowl and add the marinade, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or longer if you have the time.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the tempeh on the baking sheet. Save the remaining marinade to use for serving.
4. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned, turning over once. Remove when down and brush with more of the marinade.
5. If you want you can put the cooked tempeh on skewers, it makes a great way to serve or just serve on platter, either way remember to brush on more of the marinade on the tempeh and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
You can marinate the tempeh up to 24 hours.
Any leftover marinade can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
This sauce is good on just about anything.