Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Roasted Tempeh with Creamy Dijon Sauce

When I first made the switch from meat to eating tofu and tempeh, I had no vegan/vegetarian cookbooks or friends to tell me how to properly prepare it. Through much trial and error, I believe I have finally mastered it.

I have learned a great deal about cooking by reading recipes from cooking sites and other food bloggers. For instance, I never used to press my tofu before marinading it until kickpleat from Everybody Likes Sandwiches suggested it in one of her posts.

With this tempeh recipe, the blogger mentions boiling the tempeh for 10 minutes to remove the 'bitterness', which I had never done before. Tempeh (like tofu) is an acquired taste but if properly prepared you can have a delicious high protein dish that will have even the most avid meat eaters...ahem...husband...asking for seconds.

sorry for the bad photo, but the taste of the tempeh makes up for it

I found this recipe on Vegan Yum Yum's blog who had linked to the recipe from l. a. kitchen's blog, so whoever was the original creator of this recipe, I apologize in advance if I did not reference you.

Sometimes, as a recipe makes it's way around the blogworld and others re-create it, they will use ingredients not mentioned in the original recipe, but rather whatever they happen to have on hand. This actually happened to me today, when I was preparing this. I did not realize I was out of apple cider vinegar and soy milk and fresh rosemary, so I used my own substitutes which seem to have made no difference in sacrificing taste at all.

Roasted Tempeh with Creamy Dijon Sauce

Marinade for the Tempeh:
1 lb. tempeh, cut into 4 portions ( I used a thin slab which is probably 1/2 lb)
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup wheat-free tamari
1/8 cup rice vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary ( I used 1 tbs dry)
3 garlic cloves, minced

NOTE: I found that the marinade for the tempeh yielded too much liquid. I only used a slab of tempeh as opposed to 1 lb., so if you make this, you might want to halve the amount of tamari and/or veggie stock unless you are using a lot of tempeh to begin with.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and drop in the tempeh. Cook for about 10 minutes. (Tempeh has a mildly bitter flavor that boiling will remove.)

Meanwhile, mix together the vegetable stock, tamari, rice vinegar, bay leaves, rosemary, and garlic.

Place the tempeh in a baking pan and pour the liquid mixture on top. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes in a 350°F oven, turning once halfway through. Remove from the oven but leave the tempeh in the pan to soak up the remainder of the liquid while it cools to ensure moist tempeh.

After the liquid is absorbed (or pour it off if there is too much left), reheat in the oven until slightly browned on the edges, about 10 minutes or so.

For the Dijon Sauce:
1/2 cup grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)
1/4 cup soy milk ( I used almond milk)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup (I used 2 tsp)
2 Tbsp. honey (I used 2 tsp)

Mix together all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Cook for 20 minutes, until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.

Serve the tempeh with your preferred choice of sides. I had my tempeh with baby potoatoes roasted in the oven with paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder and some slices of grilled fennel bulb with olive oil, salt, pepper and a few small dabs of Earth Balance vegan margarine.

The creamy dijon sauce was very delicious and tangy and the mustard flavour was not too overpowering considering I reduced the amount of honey and maple syrup. As for the the tempeh, the texture was firm (and less mushy) and I found, not as 'earthy' tasting after the boiling process. So, all in all, boiling tempeh might be a good thing to do if you dislike that mushroom-y flavour that tempeh naturally has. This was seriously a good dish and I will be making the creamy dijon sauce again to add to other faux-meats.


  1. sounds good. i don't think i've ever had tempeh. when i used to be a vegetarian i ate more seitan and tofu. i'll have to try it. and for your photos, don't use a flash! try natural light and if you don't have that, just a bright light...but never ever flash.

  2. Yeah! you made it over here :)
    I always use a flash because I take my photos at night and the artificial lighting makes everything look too orange. I will avoid using flash next time. The mustard sauce is what made this dish.