Just when I thought I was a food encyclopedia, my knowledge was challenged when I first met tempeh. It was a real low blow for me. I am having my midday drama flare. While I am indeed a foodie, I still have a lot to learn. I am in the toddler stages of learning how to cook vegan dishes apart from side dishes, soups, and salads. Until recently, I never heard of tempeh.
When I was first introduced to tempeh, it didn’t sound any more appealing to me than tofu. But I have seen people cook with tempeh and boast about it so I felt inclined to try. I would like to thank some of the food bloggers here who have cooked with tempeh for the inspiration. If it weren’t for you, I would never have bothered to muster up the courage nor appetite to try some for myself.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and is a staple in Indonesian cuisine. It has a firm texture, nutty flavor, and considered to be a more nutritious way to consume soy than tofu. It’s rich in fiber, fatty acids, protein, minerals, and vitamins. Like tofu, tempeh is perfect in a stir fry, crumbled in stews or soups, marinated, and fan fried. Whatever the instance, tempeh requires slicing or breaking down into smaller pieces prior to cooking. For this particular tempeh recipe, I sliced my tempeh into neat rectangles rather than cooking it whole.
Tempeh is very versatile and can be prepared and cooked in many ways. I initiallty thought about making smoky tempeh but then I opted for more of an Asian flavor. I created a simple sweet and tangy orange glaze. This orange glazed tempeh recipe is similar to that of my orange chicken recipe with a slight difference in technicality. This dish serves well with rice or steamed greens and is perfect Meatless Monday vegan dinner idea which works out well for me since I seldom eat meat during the week
For this recipe, you will need:
- 8 ounce package of tempeh cut into rectangles or 3/4-inch cubes
- Juice from 2-3 juicing oranges
- 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar
- 3-4 teaspoons of reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 small chili pepper minced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable, olive, or sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or scallions
Whisk orange juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, and coriander in a small shallow bowl. Boil tempeh in a pot of unsalted water for 10 minutes ; drain and pat dry. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tempeh and brown on both sides. Pour in orange juice mixture and simmer until the liquid is a thick and syrupy glaze. Serve tempeh over rice or steamed vegetables. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or scallions.
Yields 4 servings