There’s something extremely intimidating about tempeh. Seitan is meaty enough to seem familiar, bready enough to be accepted by the uninitiated. Tofu is bland enough to soak up flavors and hide its true nature. But tempeh? It hardly ever shows up on restaurant menus, even in all-vegan restaurants, so even those of us who should be familiar with it often aren’t. Plus, every recipe for tempeh seems to include a caveat about tricking the tempeh into releasing its iron grip on bitterness.
It took me a long time to come around to tempeh, but now I can’t seem to get enough. Lately most forms of soy seem to give me stomach aches, but I never have problems with tempeh, so I get my soy protein fix without the nasty side effects. And did I mention that it’s actually delicious? Its substantial texture lets it stand up at the center of the plate. Sometimes vegan meals can feel like a hodgepodge of side dishes, but throw some tempeh in there and you’ve got a meal.
This orange-glazed tempeh from 101 Cookbooks is my new favorite way to prepare tempeh, and I’ve only made it once so far. It’s just too good to wait to write about it. I’m already thinking of what I can pair it with next. And I can’t wait.
(I made the recipe as is, with the exception of reducing the oil from 2 Tbsp to 1. The tempeh might brown more deeply with the extra oil, but I don’t think the added fat is neccessary.)
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