Looking for some new and inventive ways to cook tempeh? Or perhaps you are a tempeh newbie and want to learn more about it? Here is a guide to everything you need to know about how to cook tempeh.
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is a delicious vegan protein that is firm enough to slice and barbecue. It is versatile and nutritious with a nutty flavor.
Tempeh is made by fermenting beans and/or nuts with a mold culture. The result is a firm, mushroom-like patty.
Traditionally tempeh is made from soy. However, homemade tempeh can be made from seeds, beans, or lentils. It is surprisingly easy to ferment at home. (If you’re into DIY tempeh, I recommend buying cultures online from a reputable source).
How to cook tempeh
One of my favorite ways to cook tempeh is to marinate it and throw it on the barbecue. Really, you can use any barbecue sauce for barbecued tempeh. Here’s how to make barbecued tempeh:
- Thinly slice the tempeh. Aim for slices that are about 1/2 inch or 1 cm thick.
- Slather on your favorite barbecue sauce.
- Place the tempeh directly on the grill.
- Tempeh doesn’t need to be cooked, so heat until the sauce is nicely bubbling and the tempeh is warmed through.
Sliced and fried or barbecued tempeh works great as a burger or sandwich filling. Personally, my favorite sandwich is a vegetarian Reuben. Delicious!
Baking is probably the simplest way to prepare tempeh. I usually bake tempeh as part of an oven dinner, with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Then I serve it with my favorite Buddha bowl sauce.
- Slice the tempeh into serving-sized portions.
- Slather on your favorite sauce (barbecue, stir fry sauce, or pasta sauce).
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. The goal is to heat the tempeh, not dry it out.
Add tempeh to salads for a bit of protein and texture. Tempeh can be added warm or cold. If you make your own, I recommend adding fresh, unsteamed tempeh to salads. It’s surprisingly creamy, nutty, and delicious.
To heat tempeh for a salad, dice it into cubes, then fry for 2-3 minutes.
Tempeh can be a meat-free salad alternative for a hearty meal. Try adding it to the following types of salad:
- Caeser salad
- COBB salad
- Tempeh noodle salad
Tempeh is a great source of protein for pasta recipes. The rich earthy flavors really work well with tomato sauce.
- To add tempeh to lasagna, slice it into thin layers and simply sandwich it into the sauce layer.
- Cubed tempeh can be sauteed and tossed on top of pasta like meatballs.
- Lentil tempeh crumbles nicely, and is perfect in a Bolagnaise-style sauce.
6. Stir fry
Tempeh is a quick and easy protein to throw into your favorite stir fry. Add it to everything from Szechuan stir fry to pad Thai. Or try this delicious sweet and sour mango tempeh recipe!Print
Sweet and Sour Mango Tempeh
I designed this recipe to use up the liquid in my fermented mango chutney recipe. It is super quick and delicious!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: Stir fry
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 cup of mango chutney liquid (see notes)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce (or GF tamari)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 1 batch of tempeh, cubed
- 3 colored peppers, sliced into strips
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced
- Mix the soy sauce and cornstarch into the chutney.
- Heat the cooking oil in a large wok. Saute the tempeh cubes until browning (about 5 minutes).
- Remove the tempeh and add the carrots. Cook until just starting to soften. Then add the colored peppers and the mango sauce. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Add back in the tempeh, and toss to coat in the sauce. Serve immediately over rice or noodles.