I never tried cooking with tempeh until recently. I first saw it encountered it in America’s Test Kitchen Vegetarian Cookbook as a main in one of their recipes and thought it would be worth a try. They were using it as a substitute for pastrami in a Reuben sandwich. This was before I went vegan. I tried the recipe and it was OK. I don’t think I made it again. But the tempeh really stood out in the sandwich. It reminded me of the thinly sliced steak, marinated in vinegar, salt and garlic my mother used to prepare to accompany black beans. Since the sandwich I tried it in several other recipes featured in that book and in each recipe the tempeh was prepared in differently, And I must say it might be one of the most exciting foods I’ve recently encountered.
The Reuben sandwich called for the tempeh to soak up the flavors of apple cider vinegar, oregano and salt, then fry for two minutes until browned. You prepare the tempeh for this by cutting it width wise and cutting it in half. So now you have four mini steaks. put this in some water with rest of the ingredients and cook it until all the water is absorbed by the tempeh. Then pat it dry and fry.
I’ve also tried tempeh, crumbled, and cooked with chili and tomato paste. This was prepared for a taco recipe in the same book. Again, I don’t think I made the taco since, but the tempeh cooked in this manor has so many possibilities (this might be good to try in a chili).
And just yesterday, I followed a recipe from a new Indian cookbook I recently purchased. Preparing the tempeh called for it to be cut in 1/2 in cubes, and rest in boiling water with garam masala, coriander, and other spices until all liquid is absorbed by the tempeh, then cook in the main dish, which was also heavily spiced for about 20 minutes. It was unbelievable.
The common thread in all of these recipes is that the spices and flavors should be absorbed first then prepare it with the dish second to take the bitterness out of the tempeh. I’m now on a hunt for new ways to prepare it. I found some new recipes on the web which I’m excited to try.
What are some of the ways you prepare tempeh?