Saturday, June 12, 2010

What the heck do I do with....Tempeh?

You're probably saying, What the heck IS tempeh???
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is used as a meat substitute. The fermentation process uses the whole soy bean, and sometimes includes other ingredients, such as grains and/or other beans. The result is a firm textured block with highly digestable protein and fiber.
The brand I used was Soy Boy, 5 Grain flavor. It has soy beans, brown rice, millet, barley and rye in it.
Here are the stats:
In a 3 oz serving there are 130 calories, 3g fat (0.5g saturated), 15g carb, 1.5g fiber, 11g protein!!! It also has admirable levels of iron and calcium.

So, what the heck do you do with tempeh? Well, like tofu, tempeh really benefits from some period of marination. So, for this preparation, I simply broke the block of tempeh into pieces, and marinated it in reduced sodium tamari, seasoned rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger that I grated on a microplane and a small amount of agave syrup to round out the flavors. I let the tempeh marinate in the fridge for about 6 hrs.
After marination, you can saute the tempeh or stir fry it with mixed veggies. You can use it in place of ground meat in stews and chilis. You can even grill it or bake it.
I baked the tempeh and remaining marinade at 375 for about 20 minutes. As it bakes, the marinade becomes sauce; the agave syrup caramalizes a bit and adds a nice flavor to the sauce. When it was done, I simply garnished it with some chopped green onions. Serve the tempeh with a veggie of your choice to make your meal complete.

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