Tempeh has a bit of a hard to place flavor. It’s nutty, bitter, earthy, even musty some say. Some people love it while others can’t stand it.
But tempeh is a very healthy food, so going the extra mile and finding ways to make it more palatable is effort well spent.
Using classic Thai flavors to disguise that somewhat strange flavor makes it more than just palatable, it makes it simply lovely.
Thai Spiced Tempeh Cakes
Classic Thai flavors give tempeh a hefty flavor boost
- A food processor is not essential but it does make the process easier
- 1 stalk lemongrass chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
- 2 green onions roughly chopped
- 1 small red onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large red chili deseeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 kaffir lime leaf thinly shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 150 grams tempeh
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (use soy sauce or tamari for vegan option)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons flour (wheat or chickpea flour both work well)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A little extra virgin olive oil to sauté
- Start by steaming the tempeh. This removes a lot of the bitterness associated with tempeh. I do this in a pot with a little water in the bottom and a steamer basket inserted. Steam for 15 minutes.
- While the tempeh is steaming place the lemongrass, garlic, green onions, red onion, chili, ginger, kaffir lime leaf, and fresh coriander in a food processor (alternatively use a mortar and pestle) and process until finely chopped.
- Add the pre-steamed tempeh, the lime juice, and then fish sauce and process once more until mixed well. Transfer to a bowl and add the flour little by little until you get a consistence which easily holds the shape when shaped into cakes. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour for the flavors to develop.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Shape the tempeh mixture into patties and sauté until nicely browned on both sides. Serve hot or at room temperature.