9 Delicious Tempeh Recipes For Your Next Vegetarian Feast

Ever since I discovered them at my local Trader Joe’s supermarket, I’ve been loving tempeh. Tempeh is now a regular staple in my kitchen and I am always finding new ways to enjoy this healthy food.

So what the heck is tempeh? Tempeh is an Indonesian fermented soy bean product, and is popular among vegetarians as a meat substitute for its nutty, hearty flavor. If you’re a newbie vegetarian (or just want to explore the veg scene) and are getting sick of your veggie burgers and tofu, tempeh is a great food product to learn how to prepare.

Tempeh can be used in sandwiches, curry, salads, and can be baked, sauteed, steamed, marinated and more! Introduce tempeh to your weekly cooking nights by diving into one of the 9 recipes listed below.

1. Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh Recipe from 101Cookbooks.com. Tempeh is pan-fried in a sweet-sour glaze made from orange juice, garlic, ginger, maple syrup and other savory goodness. I imagine that this would taste excellent over jasmine rice, quinoa or couscous–or even on its own as a side dish.

2. Tempeh Club Sandwich Enjoy your tempeh thinly sliced, pan-fried in vegetable oil and pressed between a layer of bread, veggies and cheese. Your basic grilled cheese vegetable sandwich upgraded!

3.Tempeh Sloppy Joes With Coleslaw An epic way to enjoy tempeh, crumbled up, doused in tomato sauce and topped with coleslaw, and then sandwiched between two fluffy burger buns.

4. Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli Rabe Though tempeh is from Indonesia and is primarily used in Southeast Asian recipes, you can also spice up your pasta recipe with some tempeh. This elegant pasta recipe packs a punch with its diverse flavorings–including but not limited to soy sauce, red wine vinegar, white wine, red pepper flakes, oregano and more.

5. Basic Oven-Baked Marinated Tempeh If you slice up the tempeh into thin slices and let it sit in some marinating sauce for a couple of hours to a day, you can then bake it and use it for pasta, sandwiches, rice and whatever else you are hankering for your next meal.

6. BBQ Tempeh Slather tempeh in your own homemade or favorite brand of BBQ sauce, then grill or bake it. Eat them on their own as meatless BBQ nuggets or enjoy in a sandwich.

7. Tempeh “Chicken” Salad Toss your chopped-up tempeh with some crunchy vegetables, mustard, mayo, relish and other fixings that rock your usual chicken salad. Enjoy on its own, fill a pita pocket or eat as a quick veggie wrap for lunch. YUM!

8. Chili Garlic Tempeh Spring Rolls So you’ve already tried your tempeh in salad, noodles, sandwiches, pasta and rice. Your next frontier? Wrapped in some thin rice paper with some veggies and spicy sauce.

9. Tempeh Wontons Enjoy tempeh as an alternative to your favorite wonton filling recipe. Crumble it up, add chopped cabbage and carrot and wrap it in your Asian potsticker skins.

Originally published May 2010

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About Yumi Sakugawa

Yumi Sakugawa is a comic book artist and illustrator based in Southern California. She is the author of I THINK I AM IN FRIEND-LOVE WITH YOU and a regular comic contributor to The Rumpus. Her second book YOUR ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BECOMING ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE (Adams Media) comes out in December 2014. www.yumisakugawa.com