For you vegans out there, tempeh is most likely on your weekly menu rotation but for the rest of you, I bet you’ve never tried it. Tempeh is a soy product made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process (without added salt). It is very different from tofu, having a dense, chewy, somewhat crunchy texture. Tempeh comes in a “cake”, which may or may not be seasoned, and it’s available in most supermarkets. I love it but I’m told it’s an acquired taste.
You can prepare tempeh in a variety of ways. For this post, I experimented with sauces I had in the refrigerator. First, I sliced the tempeh into 1/2 inch rectangular pieces. Then I brushed the pieces with one of these sauces; wing sauce, peanut sauce and gyoza dipping sauce.
I placed the pieces in a hot pan for about 4 minutes per side, adding more sauce as needed. That’s it. The tempeh is ready to eat. My favorite sauce was the gyoza dipping sauce (from Trader Joe’s). Tempeh works well with this sauce and adding a few chopped scallions after grilling enhanced the flavor. You can serve grilled tempeh over brown rice, add it to salads, or eat it as a savory snack.
Nutrition Note: Because of the way tempeh is cultured, it is considered a probiotic, providing beneficial bacteria for gut health. It’s a rich source of protein, with 16 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving. Tempeh is very low in carbohydrate and sodium but high in potassium and fiber.