Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fried Chili-Garlic Tempeh

When I went to La Cocina Que Canta in Tecate, Mexico, they fed us something I have heard of, but didn't particularly crave it: tempeh. Yeah, I was like "what the deuce does tempeh taste like?" then they explained it was a version of a veggie burger, but vegan, meaning no eggs, not dairy, no meat. So, of course, the first thing I thought was that I would hate it, but Oh My Gawd, it was delish. They make their homemade tempeh there, so it was fresh and delicious.

I went online looking for a tempeh recipe but after reading many recipes I realized that the entire process was a bit too intricate for me (mainly because I had to find soy beans to ferment). Instead, I found the best quality ready-made tempeh at my co-op and used that instead. Yes, it did not taste anything like the fresh, homemade tempeh I had in Mexico, but it was still good, and healthy and nutritious. I made my infamous pear, pecan and Gorgonzola salad to accompany it (yes, I know it's not completely vegan, but there's only so much a carnivore can do!).

INGREDIENTS (serves 1)
  • 3 oz. tempeh, cut in half, lengthwise, then in thirds in width
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

In a skillet, heat oil or butter on medium heat. Add sliced garlic and cook for one minute. Add sliced tempeh and soy sauce. Cover skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes, until bottom it's browned--keep shaking the pan. Turn tempeh over and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

Place heated tempeh over your favorite salad and enjoy!

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