Tempeh satay with a peanut sauce to dip or just eat by the spoonful. - Tofu&Tempeh
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Tempeh satay with a peanut sauce to dip or just eat by the spoonful.

So for Christmas/Chanukah my brother got me a foodie hamper packed with all manner of plant based goodies, ranging from smoked tofu, fresh miso paste and my favourite brand of tempeh… yes, I have a favourite tempeh, that’s who I am now. With half of this tempeh, I used it where one would chicken or beef in a massaman curry, which was darn good if I may say so. Maybe i’ve just become accustomed to it, or perhaps, just perhaps tofu and tempeh are genuinely delicious products in their own right, not just to be seen as meat replacements, but I think I enjoy tofu and tempeh more than I ever did meat.

With the other half I wanted to put this to the test by trying a recipe that would make the tempeh the real star of the show, in a recipe that could be directly compared to its meaty counterpart… so, chicken satay I’m coming for you!

Tempeh Satay, Serves 2-3…probably 2, or 1

Marinade
2 lemongrass stalks; remove outer layer and the very bottom, use the bottom white, non-woody bit.
1/2 an onion
2 garlic cloves
1 inch of ginger
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp soy
1 tbsp maple
1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
1 tbsp Coconut cream/milk (optional – just adds a bit of substance to the marinade)
1 tbsp massaman/panang curry paste (optional – but adds an easy flavour wallop)

200g Tempeh – I cut mine into satay like strips, but would be equally effective cubed or cut into any other 3D shape you can come up with.

  1. Simply blend all of the marinade ingredients together and pour over your tempeh, leaving to marinade for as long as possible in the fridge. Try for at least half an hour, but if you can be extra prepared and you can manage overnight i’ll give you a gold star.
    Marinading tempeh skewers
  2. You have two options when it comes to cooking; I griddled my tempeh on a hot griddle pan, giving nice char lines before finishing in the oven. Reserve the marinade, before returning the tempeh back to it to finish in a 180C oven for around twenty minutes. You don’t want the tempeh to dry out, so just keep an eye on it. But, equally, just stick it in the oven if you want a little less washing up.
    Griddling tempeh in a hot pan to caramelise

Now things get a little funky. Or as one of my favourite blues artists so cooly says, which I don’t quite pull it off when I say it, so maybe it’ll sound cool when I type it.. time to funk things up a little.. yep, I’m pretty cool baby, pretty, pretty cool.

Peanut dipping sauce, Serves 4-6

3/4 – whole 400 ml can coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp soy
1 tbsp massaman/panang curry paste
1 tbsp coconut oil
Roasted/toasted peanuts crushed (optional, to add texture)

  1. Using a wok, heat up your oil and fry through the curry paste for a minute or two.
  2. Now go in with your peanut butter and a small glass of water and stir into the curry paste.
  3. When this has combined, in goes your coconut milk (3/4 of the can), maple, vinegar, soy and lime. Bring to the boil and let simmer for a few minutes.
  4. If you need to slacken to more of a dipping texture, go in with more of your coconut milk until your preferred viscosity is reached. If you leave it too thick, it can be a bit like eating a slightly spicy peanut butter, so make sure it’s suitably dipable people.
    Satay sauce
  5. Give it a taste as there may be a few variables at play such as lime size and generosity of juice, curry paste used, peanut butter used and so on, so you may need to add/balance flavours accordingly. You may also want to drain some of the excess oil out. Just a thought, this oil might be nice used to fry some julienned vegetables to have on the side.

So good even my pretty unadventurous, definitely fussy twelve year old sister loved it… which was annoying as she said she only wanted to try and would instead have something else for her main dinner. I mean, I don’t mind sharing, but I’m a growing boy.. [pun alert]…I lost my tempeh with her! Oh come one, that’s a good one… i’ve always considered the pun to be lower than sarcasm on the list of wit… but that’s an exception.

Tempeh skewers with satay sauce

Enjoy that one. Thanks for stopping by… bye.
Alex.

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