Another mainstay in my weekly recipes is tempeh.
As with tofu, my relationship with tempeh has evolved over time. The first time I tried cooking it, I just slapped it in a hot pan and served it alongside vegetables and rice. It was awful. Dry and flavorless.
Just like tofu, tempeh must be infused with the flavors you want to enjoy. I have grown to appreciate the versatility of this protein-packed soybean product after trying it as a base for meatloaf, crumbled and seasoned like taco meat; sliced, marinated and pan-fried for sandwiches or bacon, stir-fried in pepper steak–even barbecued!
- Tempeh varies by brand. I suggest trying several until you settle on the one you like. Some brands can be *bitter. I prefer West Soy brand. It has a neutral flavor and holds together quite well for all my various preparations.
2. Fabricate! For this recipe the tempeh is simply cut into four equal size patties.
3. Marinate! The most important step with tempeh is the flavoring. Here is the marinade for this recipe:
½ cup soy or tamari sauce, plus 1 tablespoon water
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon agave or other liquid sweetener
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Set the oven to 375 F degrees and pour the marinade over the tempeh in a 8 or 9 inch square baking pan.
4. Roast! Bake the tempeh for 30 minutes, then turn it over, baste and bake for another 20-30 minutes until most of the marinade is absorbed and the tempeh turns a deep, roasted color. The marinade will be absorbed into the tempeh, giving it a delicious flavor.
Now the tempeh is ready to be paired with your favorite sides and perhaps a compatible sauce or gravy. Here’s one I like: Everyday Mushroom Gravy.
*Bitterness in tempeh can be alleviated by first steaming it for 20 minutes after cutting into desired shape for your recipe.