Elevate your plant-based cooking game with a recipe that’s sure to impress even the most discerning taste buds. Let’s dive into the world of tempeh, and I’ll even share one of my favorite ways to prepare it. If you’re new to tempeh, don’t fret! I’m here to give you a brief guide on what it is and how it differs from the beloved tofu.
So, what exactly is tempeh?
Tempeh is a versatile, protein-packed ingredient that’s perfect for any vegetarian or vegan dish.
Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans that have been formed into a cake-like patty. It has a firm texture and nutty flavor that makes it a delicious addition to a variety of dishes.
Tempeh vs Tofu
Let’s talk about the difference between tempeh vs tofu. These soy-based superheroes pack a serious nutritional punch, making them a fantastic addition to your plant-based cooking adventures.
First up, we have tempeh. Picture this: fermented soybeans, all cozy and bound together in a tasty block. Tempeh is not just a delicious source of protein, but it’s also packed with gut-loving probiotics. These little superheroes help keep our digestive systems happy and healthy. Plus, tempeh is also a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Now, let’s talk tofu: The chameleon of the culinary world. This versatile ingredient is made from condensed soy milk and can take on any flavor you throw its way. Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein, perfect for keeping us fueled and satisfied. It’s also low in fat and cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy choice.
Unlike tofu, tempeh is a whole soybean product that undergoes a natural fermentation process, giving it more protein and nutrients than tofu. In fact, just one cup of tempeh provides over 30 grams of protein!
Tempeh is a great alternative to meat in a variety of dishes, making it perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets. It’s also a budget-friendly ingredient that can be used in stir-fries, sandwiches, and salads, or even as a meat alternative in classic dishes like General Tso’s Tempeh!
In short, tempeh is a nutrient-dense, protein-packed ingredient that’s easy to prepare and a great alternative to meat. It boasts a firm texture and delicious nutty flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
So next time you’re looking for a flavorful and protein-rich ingredient to add to your meal, give tempeh a try and unlock a whole new realm of culinary possibilities!
How to make General Tso’s Tempeh
Now that you know a little about tempeh, why not give it a try in this easy recipe? I love to make General Tso’s Tempeh on weekdays, because it’s a cost-effective dish that tastes amazing. You can definitely modify the recipe with your favorite veggies or adjust the spice level to suit your preferences.
To begin, chop the tempeh into small 1-inch x 1-inch pieces and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine cornstarch, paprika, garlic poweder, ginger powder, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, rice wine, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. This flavorful marinade will coat the tempeh, infusing each bite with a punch of savory, umami goodness.
Pour the marinade over the tempeh and give it a good toss so that each piece is evenly coated. Cover the bowl and let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together and the tempeh to absorb the marinade.
Once the tempeh has had time to marinate, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tempeh pieces to the pan and let them pan-fry for about 4-5 minutes per side until they’re golden brown and crispy.
Transfer the tempeh to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
In the same pan, add the remaining vegetable oil and sesame oil and heat them over medium-high heat.
Add the remaining minced garlic, grated ginger, and chili garlic sauce (or red pepper flakes) to the pan and sauté for about a minute until the garlic becomes fragrant and golden brown.
Now, let’s make the sauce!
Add the remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, mirin, and broth mixture to the pan. Stir until all the ingredients are fully combined.
In a small bowl, prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch with water until it forms a smooth paste.
Slowly pour the slurry into the sauce, stirring continuously. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes until it thickens and reaches a saucy, glossy consistency.
Return the pan-fried tempeh to the pan and toss it gently with the sauce, ensuring each piece is coated in its delicious goodness.
Optional: Sprinkle sesame seeds over the finished dish for a delightful garnish.
Serve the General Tso Tempeh hot with steamed rice or noodles, and enjoy this cost-effective, nutrient-packed meal!
General Tso Tempeh Recipe
Do you have any favorite tempeh or tofu recipes to share? I’m always looking for new ideas to try in my kitchen, so let me know down in the comments section! Don’t forget to check out my General Tso’s Tempeh recipe below for an irresistible meal that’s sure to satisfy. Happy cooking!
General Tso’s Tempeh Recipe (dairy-free, vegan)
Indulge in the perfect combination of crispy tempeh, aromatic spices, and a sticky, flavorful sauce that will leave you craving more. Not only is this dish a vegetarian delight, but it's also budget-friendly and packed with nutritious goodness.
General Tso's Sauce
Prepare the Tempeh
Chop the tempeh into small 1-inch x 1-inch pieces and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
Add the cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, ginger powder, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, rice wine, and 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce to the bowl.
Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Pan-fry the marinated tempeh until it is browned on both sides. Once done, remove the tempeh from the pan and set it aside.
Prepare the Sauce
In the same pan, add the remaining oil and sesame oil. Heat them over medium-high heat.
Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, green onions, and chili garlic sauce (or red pepper flakes) to the pan. Cook until the garlic turns golden brown and aromatic, approximately 1 minute.
Add the remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar, and broth mixture to the pan. Stir until all the ingredients are fully combined.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with water until a paste forms (aka cornstarch slurry). Add the slurry to the sauce mixture and stir continuously until the sauce thickens.
Return the pan-fried tempeh to the pan and allow it to incorporate with the sauce.
Optional: Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the finished dish for garnish.
Serve the General Tso's Tempeh hot and enjoy!