Photo by Dale May, neckpiece by Mother of London; via Mother of London @ Tumblr
Snack time! This one is so, so easy. Also: 100% boyfriend approved.
Tempeh (pronounced TEM-pay, FYI) is another one of those things that I had never heard of until I started diving into the world of vegan deliciousness. For those not yet in the know, tempeh is a fermented soybean* pattie that has been a mainstay food in Indonesia for hundreds of years, and can be used in all sorts of meals from stir fries to sandwiches to spaghetti bolognese. I prefer to slice my tempeh into thin strips, but you might be a fan of chunks – experiment a little and figure out which way you love the most.
If “fermented soybean pattie” sounds point blank unappetising, I get it. Raised eyebrow, right? Give it a chance and you won’t regret it. Tempeh has more protein, fibre and iron than tofu, and has a great creamy, nutty sort of flavour. It also soaks up flavours more readily than tofu, making it especially ripe for a light marinade, as in the recipe that follows.
These can totally be incorporated into main meals, but their fast prep and super short list of ingredients makes them ideal snacking material. I am always on the lookout for new snack options; snacking is for champions, misfits!
This recipe makes legit snackage for one or two people. If you are feeding more people (or are ravenously hungry) and want to slice up a whole tempeh cake, double the marinade recipe and use a large baking dish instead; fry ‘em up in batches :)
The simple, 3-ingredient marinade lends itself to a lot of different flavour combinations. To get your Lime Soy Tempeh odyssey started, I offer a handful of serving suggestions below. Here are five ways you can use my Lime Soy Tempeh Strips to snack your way to happiness:
♥ Gobble them back as is
♥ Toss tempeh strips, baby spinach leaves, halved cherry tomatoes and a little balsamic vinaigrette in a bowl
♥ Fill a hummus-spread wholegrain bread roll with tempeh strips, lettuce, sliced spring onion and grated carrot mixed with vegan aioli (or a vinaigrette!)
♥ Slice a few strips into pieces and mix through a bowl of hot soup
♥ Rip tempeh strips into pieces and mix with mashed chickpeas, lemon juice, fresh basil (or mint, Italian parsley, chives, coriander etc etc; fuck herbs are amazing) and a little salt & fresh black pepper; make a sandwich or plonk it on toast
Lime Soy Tempeh Strips for Two
8 thin slices of tempeh (about 1/3 of a 250g pack**, sliced widthwise ♥)
juice of one lime
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp peanut oil
What to do:
In a small baking dish (I use my trusty 6 x 9″ glass thang), add lime juice, soy sauce and peanut oil. Swirl to combine.
Add tempeh strips. Flip to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or a few hours; whatever suits), flipping once or twice depending on how long you decide to marinade for.
To prepare the strips for feasting, fry them in a medium-hot frying pan with a little oil, pouring in leftover marinade as you add them to the pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side, until marinade has reduced and strips are browned. Flip the strips with tongs once or twice during cooking.
Serves one or two.
* though it can be made from a whole bunch of different legumes; I didn’t discover this until recently, reading an article about a company that makes artisan black bean tempeh in Brooklyn, NY.
** I use Tonzu tempeh; it rules