Chinese Medicine considers preventative care as important as treating the disease itself. If we cultivate our health we can prevent illness and injury from occurring and minimize their consequences when 'disease evils' do attack us. Join Kath Bartlett, MS, LAc as she shares thoughts, news articles, recipes & tips derived from a wide variety of source material, as it relates to Chinese medicine and cultivating optimal health for the body, mind and spirit.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

3 Tempeh Recipes

Occasionally pa
tients mention that they would like to try tempeh, but aren't sure how to cook it. Tempeh is a soy product, made with fermented soybeans and formed into cakes. Often times other ingredients are added, such as grains or seaweed (sea veg). Tempeh has a strong flavor and needs to be marinated or cooked in sauces to moderate the taste. Here are 3 of my favorite tempeh recipes, taken form Peter Berley's cookbook "The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen". Berley is a vegetarian chef who cooked for many years at Angelica's Kitchen, one of New York's original and favorite veg restaurants. I love his cookbook and all of the recipes in it.

In his book Peter recommends using unpasteurized tempeh, which he claims is available in the freezer section. I have never seen it in Asheville. He praises its' texture and ability to absorb marinades.

Barbecued Tempeh

I have brought this to pot lucks and the plate always comes home empty. Non-vegs like to try it and always like it.

1lb tempeh
1/2 C cider vinegar
1/2C soy sauce (i use tamari)
1/2C olive oil
1/3C pure maple syrup
2t ground cumin
2t ground chipoti chili (i sub a Koren red chili i have on hand)
1t dried thyme
1t sweet paprika

I usually double this and bake it in a 9x12 pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice each block of tempeh in half horizontally, then slice each piece in half. Use a baking dish that will hold the slices in a snug, single layer.

Whisk together the liquids and spices. Pour half the marinade in the baking dish. Place the tempeh on top and cover with remaining marinade. Cover dish with foil, shiny side down, creating a tight seal. Bake 35min in a convection oven or 45-50min in a conventional oven, until most of the marinade is absorbed. Uncover and bake an additional 10 min (conventional oven). Convection: turn off oven and bake additional 9min, until well browned.

Remove and cool. If you are bringing it to a bar-be-que, i like to thrown it on the grill for a few min.

Peter recommends making Bar-be-qued Tempeh into sandwiches with toppings such as: chopped lettuce, sliced kirby or pickling cucumber, clover spouts, watercress and shredded carrots.

I like it as a main dish, served over a bed of brown basmati rice and steamed veggies on the side.

This dish freezers well. Peter advises that it keeps up to 10 days in the refridge.

Apple-Mustard Baked Tempeh Sandwich Filling

I generally double this recipe. The Natural Import Store in Asheville as wonderful, high quality sesame oil, avail mail order or pick-up. I have a link to their website on the bottom of the Resources page of my website

1lb tempeh
1 1/3C apple juice or fresh cider
1/3C olive or light sesame oil
3T soy sauce (i use tamari)
3T mustard (i use brown)
1t ground caraway seeds
1t ground cumin (i have successfully subbed curry pwd for the spices)
1/4 t black pepper
Sour kraut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice each block of tempeh in half horizontally, then slice each piece in half. Transfer to a steamer and steam over boiling water for 8min.

Whisk together the liquids and spices.
Place the tempeh a baking dish that will hold the slices in a snug, single layer. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and bake uncovered 28min in a convection oven or 35-40min in a conventional oven, until most of the marinade is absorbed and tempeh is nicely browned.

To serve, spread tahini and mustard (i use brown) on sandwich bread. Top with tempeh, sour kraut, and spouts or lettuce (i like dandelion greens). I think this makes great summer sandwiches.

Tempeh Simmered in Broth

This simple dish is surprisingly lite. Peter suggests adding a few chopped veggies and some leftover grains or pasta to the broth for a one-pot meal. I like to serve it over a bed of rice with steamed vegs on the side.

1lb tempeh, sliced in bite sized pieces
4C water
3T soy sauce (i use tamari)
1T olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, lightly bruised with the side of the knife (apparently bruising affects the taste of garlic)
2-3 quarter-sized ginger root slices
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
thinly sliced green onions (scallion) for garnish

Combine all ingredients, excepting scallion) in a pot and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 30min. Remove herb sprigs and serve with sprinkled scallion.

4-6 servings

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