Let's be real for a sec.... tempeh is an acquired taste and if you don't prepare it properly, it can look and tastes rather unappetizing. That said, it's an incredibly hearty form of plant-based protein and it's actually really good if you roast it and coat it with something yummy. Read on to find out how to do just that!
What is tempeh?
It’s a fermented soybean that’s packed with protein, and it’s a far less processed alternative to soy nuggets/fingers/burgers/beef tips/pepperoni/sausage or any other faux meat creation you can think of. It’s also less processed than plain old tofu.
What does tempeh taste like?
Now there are two schools of thought on the taste of tempeh. Some people love it for its nutty heartiness, and other people swear it tastes like dirt. I will admit that until recently, I was on the dirt side of the fence, but I’ve since learned that it’s all in the preparation.
Why would I want to eat something that might taste like dirt?
It won’t, trust me. This stuff kicks some serious butt when you do it right. It’s also a really lean protein, packing around 22 grams per serving and it’s super versatile.
There’s actually a bit of a cult-like following on this stuff. It’s kind of like the plant-based eater’s paleo equivalent. There are even people out there with entire websites based on these fermented beans. It’s a little corny, but hey, I live in the mecca of weirdness (hello, LA!), so I’ve seen worse.
How to prepare tempeh so it doesn't taste like dirt.
I like to keep it simple by cutting a loaf of tempeh into finger-like pieces, marinating and then just bake them. I find that a good marinade will offset the dirt-like flavor. Once they’re baked, you can do anything with them. Dress them up in a little bbq or chicken wing sauce (just mind the sugar content in these), add them to salads or sandwiches or just eat them as they are.
Love’em for days.
Just don't cook it straight out of the package. Unless you like the taste of dirt.
- 1 package of tempeh, I prefer Litelife organic brand
- 2 tablespoons of tamari , basically gluten free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of ponzu sauce
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of mirin, optional if you have no idea what it is
- 1 tablespoon of agave nectar or honey
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, for a breaded, cheesy texture
- Remove tempeh from the package and cut into finger-size portions (about ½ wide by 3 inches long)
- Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and add tempeh, mixing until well coated.
- Marinade tempeh in the fridge for a minimum of two hours (or as long as you like).
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Spread fingers on a greased cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve with a bbq, hot or savory sauce and enjoy!
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and ADHD Coach. As the founder of The Fit Habit, she shares ADHD-friendly self-care, food & fitness inspiration, along with practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.