Tempeh is not a hugely popular ingredient. At least where I’m from. In fact, I hadn’t really tried tempeh until recently. And it’s not something you can find at most regular grocery stores (but can be found at many natural food stores).
Tempeh is a whole-soy, fermented product (I know, adding the adjective fermented to any food doesn’t sound too appetizing, work with me here) usually made by mixing soy and grains. Higher in fat, but a very healthful soy food option, it’s versital and can act as the “meat” of a meal, if you want to look at it that way. And, it contains complete protein AND fiber. Beat that, chicken, fish, or any other meat for that matter. Animal foods, in all forms, contain zelch-o, zero grams of fiber. I’ve tried various flavors, and to tell you the truth, can’t tell a huge difference between original tempeh and mult-grain tempeh.
Recently, wanting to branch out a bit (I mean really, I’m a bit embarrassed I hadn’t done much by way of cooking with tempeh before, what kind of vegan am I???!). I whipped out one of my favorite gourmet cookbooks, Dreena Burton’s Eat Drink & Be Vegan, and decided to experiment with this food previously unknown to me.
1. Sweet Potatoes. The perfect food, a little sweet, no fat, really no need to embellish this member of the tuber family, yet add a little sweet and sour sauce, bada-bing, bada-boom you’ve got something spectacular!
2. Chipotle. Give me more of this stuff. Love chipotle.
3. Brown rice. If you make it right, anyone will love it. Get a rice cooker, if you’re like me and it always turns out crunchy when you cook it over the stove, you must get a rice cooker. Bleh, no one likes crunching on things that are NOT supposed to be crunchy. Get a rice cooker, perfect rice, every time, promise.
4. The smell wafting out of my oven was DIVINE!
5. Did I mention there was pineapple in this dish? (Thanks Hawaii. You do an awesome job supplying us all with this amazing little spikey fruit).
I’m not going to post the recipe though. I know it seems awfully mean of me to post this without the recipe, but I think we all ought to support our vegan Julia Child and buy her book (you won’t regret it!) and get the recipe (and many delicious more).
As for the tempeh experiment, I haven’t done many more dishes with the stuff, but I like it. Good texture, flavor. I’ve noticed though, that it’s better to steam it for a bit, before you add it to dishes. This takes out the bitterness. Good replacement for chickens or cows in your stir-fry dishes.
I’d be interested to hear about your experience with tempeh. Have you tried it? Like it, hate it? Let me know.