I had some coworkers that have never liked the flavor of tempeh. As soon as I heard this, I was determined to make my version for them and show them how good it could be. I first created this recipe about 10 years ago when I was working for many vegetarian clients. I have revised the recipe a little but am happy to say that it still stands up as one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. I was a vegetarian for about 7 years back in my 20’s and I still like to eat tempeh and tofu occasionally now. I now use this teriyaki style marinade for beef too.
The key to really good tempeh is all in the marinade. Frying the tempeh first creates a crunchier texture plus adds some fat, and then the marinade gives it a rich deep flavor. Make extra of the marinade and save it in the refrigerator for quick meal prep later, or use it to marinate beef for a stir fry.
Serve this over a bed of rice with a Cabbage Salad and my Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup. Having a barbecue? Make the skewers up to 2 days ahead of time and then put them on the grill for about 5 minutes to reheat.
- ¼ cup San-J tamari (gluten-free, organic and low sodium is best)
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon ginger juice, or small piece of ginger peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon garlic (2–3 cloves in a garlic press or minced)
- 1 package tempeh
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 6 6-inch skewers
- Sliced green onion or chopped cilantro for garnish!
- In a small bowl, mix tamari, coconut aminos, vinegar, maple syrup, ginger juice, and garlic until maple syrup has dissolved. Set aside.
- Cut tempeh into 1-inch cubes. Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add tempeh and cook until browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side, turning over with tongs.
- Pour marinade into a frying pan, lower heat and simmer, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning tempeh occasionally so that they soak up the marinade evenly. (The marinade will thicken as it simmers).
- Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Place tempeh cubes onto skewers, 4 to 5 cubes on each, and place on serving dish. Drizzle remaining liquid from the pan over the skewers and serve.
- Add 2 teaspoons chopped lemongrass to marinade for a Thai influence
- Add ¼ cup pineapple or orange juice to marinade along with ½ tsp lemon zest
- For a richer bacon-like flavor add a little Worcestershire sauce and smoky paprika powder
- Will stay in the refrigerator for 1 ½ weeks
- Reheat: Place skewers in a medium frying pan with a little oil over medium heat turning once until evenly heated through, about 5 minutes. If tempeh is too dry, sprinkle with some tamari or soy sauce.