How to cook tempeh

Maple Grilled Tempeh

This is another one of my clean-out-the-fridge recipes. Actually, I should rephrase that. This is a take-apart-the-entire-refrigerator, wipe-down-every-surface, throw-away-90% – of-the-condiments-crammed-in-the-door, and- figure -out-how-to-use-up-the-rest recipe. Tonight grilled tempeh was on the menu made with a marinade I cobbled together from a few of my surviving condiments and pantry items – maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic and ground chipotle pepper.

Grilled Tempeh Recipe

So good, so easy! I've failed too many tempeh attempts to count – part of the reason you never see tempeh recipes here. But not this time. The salty sweet marinade really worked its way into the tempeh. The heat from the grill added a nice touch of caramelization. It worked beautifully alongside the grilled mushroom, served on top of the earthy quinoa.

For those of you looking for variations – this flavorful, salty-sweet marinade would work nicely on tofu as well. The marinade would also make a nice sauce for say, a soba noodle dish, or over pan-fried rice – just keep in mind it is fairly strong. Start with a drizzle and go from there.

For those of you wanting to know what brand of tempeh is in the photo – Turtle Island Organic Five Grain Tempeh. I like it because it has a pleasant neutral flavor that isn't overpowered by other ingredients/seasonings in the tempeh, I like their flax variety as well.

8 ounces tempeh3 tablespoons soy sauce (I prefer shoyu sauce)3 tablespoons maple syrup1 teaspoon rice vinegar2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped

1/2 teaspoon powdered chipotle (or a couple pinches of cayenne)

optional (version in photo):1 -2 portobello mushrooms2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice

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a handful of blanched green beans

Cut the tempeh diagonally into 4 triangles. If possible, thin those triangles out by slicing each in half horizontally – 8 triangles total. Set the tempeh aside while you make the maple marinade by combining the soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, garlic, and chipotle powder in a small bowl. Reserve a few tablespoons of the marinade to use later as a drizzle.

Place the pieces of tempeh flat in a large baking dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the tempeh. Make sure the tops and bottoms are coated and marinate for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 days, flipping occasionally.

Grill the tempeh on a medium hot grill for a few minutes on each side – Brushing all the while with the marinade remaining in the bottom of the baking dish. When the tempeh is a toasted, deep, maple-y, golden brown remove and enjoy on a sandwich, over rice, or however you like. If you want to try the preparation shown in the photo, throw a big portobello mushroom on the grill next to the tempeh, and brush it with some of the leftover marinade as well. When the mushroom and tempeh are done grilling, slice them into thin strips and serve over a bed of warmed quinoa (or rice) and barely-cooked green beans (broccoli might be nice too). I threw in a few (flowering) herbs from my garden for good measure – chives, thyme and oregano – and drizzled with the reserved marinade.

Serves 2 – 4

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    What is Tempeh?

    Tempeh is like tofu a soy product. Through culturing and fermentation, whole soybeans are molded into a block. Tempeh is even higher in protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins than tofu thanks to the fermentation and use of whole soybeans. You can get tempeh in Asian stores (look in the refrigerated or freezer section).

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    Vegan Tempeh Bacon soaking in smoky marinade

    The Ingredients for the Tempeh Bacon Marinade

    The marinade is super easy to make! You only have to whisk together:

    • Soy Sauce
    • Sesame Oil
    • Liquid Smoke
    • Maple Syrup
    • and Salt

    The marinade is enough for 10 slices of tempeh. You can use it also to make Tofu Bacon or Coconut Bacon! It’s a great smoky marinade. You won’t need additional oil for the pan (it’s best to use a non-stick pan) because of the sesame oil in the marinade.

    You can let the tempeh slices soak in the marinade directly in the pan (no need for another dish!). Once most of the marinade is soaked up, cook them in the pan until brown and crispy.

    Vegan Tempeh Bacon in a wrap

    Vegan Tempeh Bacon Wrap with Mediterranean Tofu Scramble, tomato, and cucumber slices. So good!

    Serve the Vegan Tempeh Bacon …

    Vegan Tempeh Bacon in the pan

    • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, liquid smoke, maple syrup, and salt. Then pour it in a large enough pan that can hold all the tempeh slices. 
    • Add in the tempeh slices in a single layer. Let the tempeh soak in the marinade for 2-3 minutes, then flip the tempeh slices. Let them soak for another 2 minutes. Then bring the pan to medium to high heat.
    • Cook the marinated tempeh slices for about 3-4 minutes (until lightly browned and crispy), then flip and let them cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes as well. Done! Check out the ideas on how to use them in the post!

    You can use the same marinade and technique to make Tofu Bacon (it's a great alternative if you can't find tempeh). Calories: 24kcal | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 9mg | Calcium: 0.1% | Iron: 0.5% Mention @elephantasticvegan or tag #elephantasticvegan! A recipe rating helps other users to figure out if they should try a recipe. Please leave a good rating, if you like the recipe!

    InstagramDid you make this vegan Tempeh Bacon? Leave a comment and please rate the recipe for other users! If you post a photo on instagram, use the hashtag #elephantasticvegan and tag me via @elephantasticvegan to make sure I’ll see it ^.^ I love to see all your lovely creations! Thanks!

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