Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tantalizing Tempeh

A lot of people including vegetarians will ask me, what is tempeh and how do you cook it? Tempeh is made from fermented whole soybeans and comes in a cake-like form. Although made from the same ingredients as tofu, it has different nutritional properties. The texture is very different as well. Here's a picture of what it looks like in it's raw form:

I bought this block of regular flavored tempeh at Whole Foods and cut it in half lengthwise. Then I sliced it horizontally.

Required: Garlic powder, Soy sauce, Tempeh, Shiitake mushrooms, Chili oil, Canola oil or Sesame oil if you're feeling brave

Optional: Rice, Broccoli

Slice shiitake mushrooms and tempeh as shown above. Prepare pan by placing 3 Tbsp of canola oil and 1 Tbsp of chili oil. You may need to add more oil depending on the size of your pan and tempeh block. Tempeh can easily turn dry, so you want to make sure that you add enough oil.

Place pan on high heat with oil. Add tempeh and mushrooms. Add a few splashes of soy sauce for taste. Let the tempeh cook for a minute until it absorbs the soy sauce. Tempeh is good at absorbing soy sauce and will turn a brownish color (see top picture). Do not stir yet.
The other reason you don't want to stir too soon is that the tempeh will start to crumble. You want the tempeh to get brown! Have I made my point yet? Keep cooking. If it looks like you need more oil, put in more.

After you see the tempeh get a bit brown, you can then start to stir.
But please do it gently. Take a spatula and lift up and down. Add a dash of garlic powder. Stir again.

You can serve this over rice and/or with broccoli. (See broccoli recipe).

Tempeh is high in protein and yummy!

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