I didn’t use to like tempeh. Now, I do, thanks to easy, fool-proof recipes like this. Look at that saucy caramelization! Oof.
Any of you tempeh haters out there, prepare to be converted.
Origin of Tempeh
Tempeh originated in Central or East Java, Indonesia sometime around 1800. (source)
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s made of cooked, dehulled soybeans that are inoculated with mold, packed, and incubated until the beans are bound together by the mycelium.
Sounds like weird science, but this fermentation process makes nutrients more available to your body. Plus, tempeh is rich in prebiotics which have been known to promote gut health. It also boasts a whole range of other health benefits, including its iron and calcium content (source).
Origin of Peanut Sauce
Peanut sauce also originated in Indonesia (source), so this recipe is doubly Indonesian-inspired! What Americans know as peanut sauce is more commonly referred to as satay sauce (or bumbu kacang) in Indonesia, because it’s most often served with the popular Indonesian dish, satay (skewered, grilled meats).
For a more traditional take on Indonesian-style peanut sauce, check out this recipe from Tin Eats.
This recipe requires just 7 ingredients to make and involves the easiest preparation ever: Steam tempeh, make marinade, let marinate, BAKE. That’s it!
The only part that takes a little planning is the marinating. I suggest a 2-24-hour window. The longer the better and the more saucy and flavorful your tempeh will be. So go on. Give it a day. Go out and see something, kid. Go explore the city. Go see nature. Let your tempeh do its thang.
Then bake until golden and caramelized and brush with remaining marinade. So easy. So saucy. So essential.
You’re going to LOVE this tempeh. It’s:
& Insanely delicious
Put this tempeh on EVERYTHING. Think noodle dishes, salads, in spring rolls, and more! Not to worry, I have a blissed-out salad coming your way in a few days that’s perfect with this saucy tempeh. Stay tuned!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Marinated Peanut Tempeh (7 Ingredients!)
- 8 ounces tempeh (if GF, ensure gluten-free friendly)
- 1 whole fresh or dried bird’s eye chili (minced/crushed // or sub 1/4 tsp red pepper flake)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil (if avoiding oil, leave this out and add a bit more lime, soy sauce, and maple syrup)
- 2 Tbsp salted creamy peanut (or almond, cashew, or sunbutter)
- 2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- To remove bitterness from the tempeh, add to rimmed skillet or saucepan filled with 1 inch of water and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Steam tempeh for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping once at the halfway point. Then rinse, pat dry, and cut into thin, bite-size pieces. I prefer slicing the tempeh in half lengthwise then cutting into small triangles. (The smaller the pieces, the better they can soak up the marinade.) Set aside.
- Mix marinade by adding chili, sesame oil, peanut butter, tamari, lime juice, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more crushed chili for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, or tamari for saltiness. Don’t be shy – you want this extremely flavorful!
- Add the sliced tempeh to the marinade and toss to coat. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably 24 hours. I found that 24 hours infused the most flavor! While marinating, toss/stir occasionally to ensure even coating. (Pro tip: Just before baking, drizzle with a bit more maple syrup and tamari for extra flavor. Optional but recommended!)
- Once marinated, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add tempeh and reserve any leftover marinade to brush/coat the tempeh once baked.
- Bake for 22-30 minutes or until caramelized and deep golden brown. Remove from oven and brush/coat with any remaining marinade.
- This tempeh is delicious for adding to Asian-inspired dishes like spring rolls, salads, and noodle dishes! Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Best when fresh.
*For more tempeh recipes, check out my Easy Vegan Meatballs and my Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls!
*Recipe makes ~1 1/2 total cups.
Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)
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