Thursday, May 15, 2008

Braised Tempeh with Vegetables

Recipe: Braised Tempeh with Vegetables

I once learned, the hard way, not to attempt and “trick” Jack into trying new foods. Explain what it is, why we are going to eat it, and give him fair warning. My husband is reasonable and will try (almost) anything once. Unfortunately, years ago, I did not know this.

I wanted to attempt a recipe containing tofu. I had read in an article that tofu picks up the flavor of the foods which it is cooked with and gullible me surmised “if it is cooked with chicken, it will taste like chicken”.

Here I should mention that I failed my first bout with Fundamentals of Logic in college, and had to repeat that course. Apparently the lessons learned failed to stick with me.

Jack was horrified as he chewed the “chicken and tofu” stir fry. I had not told him about the tofu and he thought that it was something awful, like a glob of fat, so he ran and spit it into the disposal in the kitchen sink. I attempted to explain about this new burst of culinary creativity, but he would have nothing of it. I speared all of the tofu cubes from his plate, and exchanged them with the chicken cubes on my plate. I deceived him (yes, his actual words) and he resisted tofu for years to come. Eventually I was able to try a few tofu-containing recipes which he enjoyed (as much as he could) but I had learned my lesson.

At the food co-op a few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of packages of tempeh. Tempeh is cooked, slightly fermented soybeans which are formed into a cake and sometimes mixed with grains. It is very high in protein and fiber, is firm in texture with a nutty flavor, and is an all-around excellent meat substitute. I chose both a garden vegetable and a wild rice version, then several days later I set about trying to find recipes. After a while, although I hadn’t located a recipe that I wanted to try, I had a preparation in mind. Jack loves all Asian food, and I decided that this would be how I would make tempeh for this first time. But, of course, I would first explain in detail what tempeh is and that it was in our dinner.

I don’t know what I expected, but not this. I unwrapped a very firm block of … something. Yes, soybeans and all of that stuff, but I suppose that I thought it would be the consistency of tofu.


This stuff is decidedly better-tasting that it looks.


The tempeh was cut into cubes, then browned and braised in a very flavorful sauce. As the tempeh cooks, veggies are stir-fried then added to the tempeh and sauce; this mixture is then served over rice. We were both pleasantly surprised at how good this was. In fact, Jack said that I should make this again, and experiment with more tempeh recipes! This never happened with tofu… ;)

* Exported from MasterCook *

Braised Tempeh with Vegetables

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Prep Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2/3 cup basmati rice -- uncooked

8 ounces Wild Rice Tempeh

1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

3/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce -- any hot sauce may be used; adjust to taste

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

5 ounces red bell pepper -- 1/2" dice (about 1 cup

4 ounces broccoli floret -- (about 2 cups)

4 1/2 ounces carrot -- diagonally sliced, 1/4" wide (about 1 cup)

3 whole green onions -- thinly sliced, diagonally

Prepare the rice according to package directions, omitting fat and salt. Keep warm.

Cut the tempeh into 1/2" cubes and set aside.

Mix broth through garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

Drizzle olive oil into a medium skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the tempeh cubes in a single layer, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the sauce, bring to a boil, turn heat to very low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a wok, drizzle 1 teaspoon canola oil and stir fry the broccoli for one minute, add the carrots and red pepper and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the vegetables to the skillet with the tempeh and stir to coat all with the now-thickened sauce. Add the green onions, cover, and simmer for another minute.

Serve over rice.

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Per serving: 590 Calories (kcal); 13g Total Fat, 1g saturated; (22% calories from fat); 31g Protein; 19g Fiber; 69g Carbohydrate; 1mg Cholesterol; 603mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 3 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates


Laura said...

You may have inspired me, I gotta admit I have always been afraid of this stuff. But it is used in a lot of the cuisines I love so.... :)

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...

Laura, I am surprised that you haven't made tempeh, in any form, before! Do it. You will be quite pleasantly surprised. :)