This Sticky Tempeh recipe features a fusion of flavors and textures that will leave you craving for more. The tempeh is golden and crispy with a luscious and addictive sticky glaze. This creates a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and umami flavors.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh (or tempe) is an underrated plant-based ingredient from Indonesia with a unique earthy taste. Tempeh has been a staple in their cuisine for centuries but has recently gotten more popular worldwide due to the rise of plant-based ingredients. Made from fermented soybeans, it undergoes a fermentation process that results in a firm texture and a distinct nutty flavor that sets it apart from other plant-based proteins. This versatile ingredient serves as a canvas for culinary creativity and is able to absorb flavors and spices amazingly.
This recipe is inspired by the Indonesian method of thinly slicing and frying the tempeh until golden and crispy perfection. Then coat the tempeh in a sweet, savory sauce, inspired by Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It has a crispy exterior, that is complemented by the addictive saucy, sticky sauce.
To make this Sticky Tempeh recipe, you'll need 9 main ingredients:
- Onion (or shallot)
- Chili pepper
- Soy sauce
- Lime juice
- Sesame seeds (optional for garnish)
Start by preparing the tempeh. Cut it into bite-sized cubes or thin strips, whichever you prefer.
Finely chop the onion (or shallots), garlic, and ginger. Thinly slice the scallion, separating between th
Fry the tempeh strips in oil until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Remove the tempeh to a plate and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar, and lime juice. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and create a smooth sauce.
Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add a splash of oil and sauté the chopped onion (or shallots), garlic, and ginger until fragrant. Add in the sauce, then followed by the fried tempeh.
Stir fry the onion, garlic, ginger and white part of the scallion.
Add in the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the tempeh back into the pan and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.
Serve the tempeh over some rice or noodles.
Garnish the Tempeh with the green part of the scallions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Tempeh: If you don't have tempeh or prefer an alternative, you can substitute it with extra-firm tofu, plant-based meat, or seitan. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as tofu may require less time to cook than tempeh.
- Onion: You can substitute onions with shallots in the recipe.
- Soy Sauce: For gluten-free alternative, you can use tamari sauce or coconut aminos as alternatives to soy sauce. Adjust the quantity to taste.
- Spicy Sticky Tempeh: Add a kick to the dish by incorporating chili flakes, sambal, sriracha, or a dash of chili powder into the sauce.
- Sesame Sticky Tempeh: Enhance the nutty flavor by drizzling some toasted sesame oil over the cooked tempeh. You can also sprinkle sesame seeds as a garnish.
- Teriyaki-style Sticky Tempeh: Replace the sugar in the sauce with honey or maple syrup, and add a splash of rice vinegar for a tangy twist.
Cooked Sticky Tempeh can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a skillet or microwave before serving.
If you want to make a larger batch to freeze, you can cook the tempeh in the sauce but leave out the scallions. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
A: Yes, you can prepare the tempeh and sauce ahead of time and store them separately. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and toss it with the cooked tempeh until heated through.
A: Absolutely! Preheat your oven to around 375°F (190°C). Arrange the tempeh in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the tempeh is golden and crispy. Then, proceed with coating it in the sauce.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!Print