There are a couple of ways tempeh dishes can go wrong – you can dry it out and you can end up with a flavourless piece of protein.
I’ve avoided these pitfalls a few ways. Follow these tips and you can’t go wrong.
Steaming your tempeh will help to soften it and remove some of the bitterness. This is always a good first step before you follow any tempeh recipe. You don’t have to do this, but it’s a good idea.
- Set up a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and place the tempeh in the basket, cover it, and steam for about 10 minutes. You can leave the tempeh whole for easier handling.
- Remove from the steamer and pat it dry with paper towel. Set it aside to cool down and proceed with your recipe.
If you don’t have a steaming basket, you can simmer the tempeh instead.
- Fill a small pan with about 2 inches of water or stock and bring to a boil. Place the tempeh in the liquid, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the liquid and pat it dry with paper towel. Set it aside to cool down and proceed with your recipe.
Baking your tempeh over a medium heat smothered in sauce will ensure a soft and flavourful dish. Don’t be shy with the sauces! You can use store bought sauces and marinades, oil based salad dressings, or you can make your own. I’ve posted links to some of my marinade/sauce recipes below.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Slice tempeh into ¼ slices and lay flat on a parchment or foil lined baking tray.
- Drizzle with olive oil and cover liberally with a sauce or marinade of your choice.
- Bake for 15 minutes
Soy maple marinade
Sumac balsamic marinade
Pan frying tempeh will give it a nice crunchy crust. You can either straight up pan fry with just salt, pepper and olive oil, or you can marinate the tempeh first for 15-20 minutes and then pan fry. You don’t need to cook tempeh long, only long enough to lightly brown all sides. I’ve posted links to some of my marinades and rubs below.
- Cut tempeh into ¼ inch slices or ½ inch cubes.
- Season tempeh with a marinade or dry rub.
- Heat your pan to medium heat and pan fry tempeh. Make sure there is enough oil in the pan to avoid drying out the tempeh and to ensure you create a nice light brown crust. Turn pieces over to brown all sides.
Ginger garlic black pepper sauce
Sumac balsamic marinade
Soy & maple marinade