Glad y’all likes the molasses post yesterday! Make sure to read the comments for tips on how to use it, I especially loved the tea idea!
Today I have another popular item in store for you; tempeh! Boy, if I received a nickle for every time I got a question about tempeh…..
Tempeh = fermented soy. It resembles tofu in no way, just as soymilk does not resembletofu. The fermenting proces* creates a whole new taste, touch and feel, hence a whole new product. Tempeh (or tempe as they say in Indonesia, where tempeh originated from!) is actually the least processed form of soy (not counting the actual soybeans themselves of course). And this is a huge plus, as highly processed forms of soy have been under heavy discussion for some years now, as it has been linked to some health problems. Unprocessed soy products on the other hand, have proven health benefits, like reducing the risk for breast cancer.
* fermenting means creating an optimal environment for bacteria and/or yeasts to ‘work’ a product and change it’s components. Other examples of foods that have been fermented are alcohol, sauerkraut and yogurt.
The fermenting of soybeans creates a firm block, or cake as some call it. In my opinion, it resembles the texture of meat much more than regular tofu. It is firm and dense and holds its shape really well. Now, the first time you purchase tempeh don’t be scared! Yes, it looks veiny and weird and yes, it smells a bit sour (that’s fermenting for ya!). But I promise you that with the right treatment tempeh is a real treat and a perfect meat replacement. Added bonus: it’s also cheap! At a toko you will likely find a 400 gram block for 2-3€. A serving of tempeh is ~75 grams which comes down to ~€0,50 for a serving, at least half the price of a slab of meat. Bon appetit!
Now of course you’re all interested in how I make tempeh edible. This is how I first prepared tempeh in a way that made it delicious. It’s so simple, I can’t even call it a recipe!
What you need
* 150 grams tempeh (= 2 servings)
* 1 T oil of choice (I suggest peanut oil or wok oil)
* Soy sauce (I use liquid aminos but more on that some other time )
What you need to do
1. Cut your tempeh in small cubes (about half the sice of a dice)
2. Heat oil in wok or large pan, add tempeh
3. Keep stirfrying for around 7-10 minutes, until all sides are browned
4. Sprinkle with pepper and cover in soysauce (sizzzle!)
5. Turn heat off and keep stirring until very block is covered
6. Serve & enjoy!
I highly recommend eating this alongside some steamed or stirfried veggie (use the same pan!) and rice or noodles. Or in a pita with some spinach or lettuce. Or atop a salad. Or in a pasta sauce.
Now here’s for another awesome way to prepare tempeh that will probably help a lot of you (me included) that are looking for alternatives to meat based bread toppings. Before going veg, I used to eat a lot of bread, But all of my toppings were either meat, dairy or egg based, and from what I see around me I can say this is very common. This makes it hard fro someone trying to tone down their meat (or egg, dairy) consumption or even going veg, I know! So let this tempeh recipe help you with that.
Tempeh Sandwich Slices
1. Slice your tempeh into thin slices (slice from the top)
2. Pan fry them in oil and whatever you like
I know right? You can use this simply to top your bread with, or you can go all out and make a sandwich the size of your face . Tempeh is really high in protein so it makes for a wonderful meat sub.
One more tip on tempeh: you can broil the tempeh prior to baking it, to tune down the flavor a bit. For this, cook the tempeh in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, that’s all. Now I have never done this because I don’t find in necessary, but you might try it if you find the flavor too strong.
Tell me: are you intrigued? Are you going to try it? Or do you already enjoy tempeh?
And to everyone that think tempeh looks bad…