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Sweet and sour tempeh - cover pic

Sweet and Sour Tempeh

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5 from 8 reviews

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x


My vegan take on sweet and sour pork, using tempeh as a plant-based substitute. This recipe is saucy and full of flavour and goes well with a bowl of rice or noodles.


Units Scale
  • 400 g tempeh
  • oil for frying (or water if you are oil free)
  • 1 small red or yellow onion (or 1/2 a big onion)
  • water
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 can pineapple (extract the pieces for the stirfry and the juice for the sauce)
  • 1 stalk green onion (optional garnish)
  • sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Sweet and Sour sauce

  • 60 ml pineapple juice
  • 50 ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (if use ketchup, reduce the amount of syrup to 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup (or other sweeteners of choice)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or finely minced fresh garlic)
  • 1 tsp ginger powder (or freshly grated ginger)
  • 1 tsp corn starch


  1. Cut the tempeh into bite-sized pieces. I cut into half length-wise, then into thin slices.
  2. On a pan, add about 1-2 tbsp of cooking oil and spread the oil evenly.
  3. When the oil is hot, place the tempeh pieces on the pan in one layer. Let them sit until golden brown on one side and flip the pieces to fry on the other side.
  4. Once both sides are golden, add water to cover half the height of the tempeh pieces and let them steam on low heat until all the water is evaporated. Remove from the pan.
  5. Cut the onion and bell peppers into thin slices.
  6. Remove the pineapple from the can, and cut it into bite-sized piecs.
  7. Make the sweet and sour sauce using pineapple juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste, agave syrup, corn starch, garlic powder and ground ginger. Mix well to combine.
  8. On a pan (use the same pan that fried the tempeh), add the onion and bell peppers on medium high heat. Stir fry for 2 minutes until softened but still crispy.
  9. Add in the cooked tempeh pieces and sweet and sour sauce. Lower the heat, mix well until combined and the sauce is thickened to your liking.
  10. Serve with a bowl of rice or noodles and garnish with optional green onions and sesame seeds.


Feel free to make adjustments to the ingredients and sauce: for example, using broccoli instead of bell peppers would work well. Or use orange juice in place of pineapple juice (the flavors may differ slightly).

The recipe freezes well and can last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese, vietnamese

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