Vegan | Gluten-Free | OMS-Friendly | Low-FODMAP
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product – coarsely-ground soybeans are are packed into cakes and fermented by special micro-organisms, in this case a fungus.
Tempeh is bitter until it’s cooked, so it’s not great straight out of the packet, but you can eat it raw. You can grill, saute, or gently fry tempeh with a variety of other ingredients, and it can be really delicious.
The brand you get counts, so try a few to find the kind you prefer. Asian stores will sell it, but depending where you live, you may never see tempeh in the supermarket.
Ways to prepare tempeh
Slice it thin
Tempeh is great a bit crispy or crunchy, so experiment with slicing – thinner slices get crunchier more easily, and different dishes call for different textures – having some meatiness to the tempeh is often lovely, but some recipes call for a bit of crunch with a slightly chewy centre.
Make the shapes you like or that fit your dish
You can cut tempeh into a variety of shapes, though keeping with the thickness requirements (or preferences), it can be cut horizontally and vertically, and into triangles, squares, cubes, or rectangles.
Steam it first
Put sliced tempeh into a pan and cover it with water or a vegetable broth. Boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh, then marinate, grill, bake or fry.
- Soy sauce
- Lemon or lime juice
- Coconut milk
- Peanut butter
- Sesame oil
- Spices of your choice
- Maple syrup, agave, honey
Marinate in your chosen mixture for about 15 minutes.
Ways to cook tempeh
Put under a moderate-high grill until golden brown and slightly crispy.
Use a good oil and get it hot enough to gently fry to a gentle crisp thin slices of tempeh.
Heat the oven to 200C (400F) and lay thinly-sliced tempeh onto a baking tray with a small amount of oil or on baking paper to avoid sticking. Cook until golden brown.
Charred tempeh – not OMS-friendly!
Blackening spices can add flavours to tempeh you wouldn’t otherwise get, and can make a great addition to salads. Try paprika, cayenne, black pepper, dried herbs like oregano and thyme, and of course some salt. Add the wet layer with a brush of oil, dip in the mixture, then fry in a hot frying pan until they smoke.
Stewed, soups, pasta, curry – crumble, grated, cube
You can add tempeh into soups and stews in the same way you might tofu or meat.