Teriyaki Tempeh

Jun 14, 2013

We’ve been eating quite a bit of tempeh lately. It doesn’t always speak to me loudly, but in the last few weeks I’ve really been enjoying it. I also like to have meals done quickly and without too much hassle. So quick tempeh dishes are better than laborious ones. Teriyaki tempeh is both quick and easy, and delicious as well. I usually use it as an ingredient in a rice salad or pasta salad. Or even a green salad would be good. I think when I made it this time I fried some leftover rice and added the Teriyaki Tempeh at the end. This is one of the kids favorite tempeh dishes. Sweet, salty and fried. What more can you ask for!

Teriyaki Tempeh

  • 1# Rhapsody Tempeh, thin strips or small cubes
  • 2 cups frying oil (I use sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, mashed
  • Dash of vinegar (optional)

Start by putting the frying oil in a pot or frying pan. Any sort of pot will work, as long as it has a thicker bottom and all the tempeh can be submerged at the same time (or half of the tempeh and you can fry in two batches). You might have to adjust the amount of oil you use depending on your pot. Put the oil on the stove at medium/high heat.

As the oil comes up to temperature, cut you tempeh. The thinner or smaller the pieces, the greater the surface area and the more the flavor of the marinade will be absorbed by the tempeh. Check the temperature of your oil. You don’t want to put the tempeh in when it isn’t hot enough because then the tempeh will absorb a lot of oil and won’t actually be cooking. You also don’t want the oil to get too hot because then the oil will break down faster and release free radicals. If your oil gets so hot that it smokes, get rid of it and start over. You want the oil to be around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check this with a thermometer or a chopstick. For the chopstick trick get a clean, dry chopstick and press one end against the bottom of the pot in the oil. When bubbles rise up around the stick right away then the oil is at the right temperature.

Once the oil is up to temperature put in the tempeh so that it is full, but not overlapping. Let it fry until it is a nice brown color, about 5 minutes.

If you have a few batches to fry place the tempeh on a plate or put it directly into a dutch oven or other thick bottomed pot or frying pan (not over heat). I like using cast iron for this kind of cooking.

When all the tempeh is fried, put it in the pot/frying pan/dutch oven. Add the garlic, rice syrup and soy sauce. Sometimes a dash of rice vinegar is nice as well. Add water so that half the tempeh is submerged and mix it all gently. Turn on the flame at high heat until the water comes to a boil. When it boils, turn the flame low and put on the lid. Let it cook for about 5-10 minutes checking it often to make sure the water isn’t gone and give it a little stir. Then take the lid off and cook until the water is gone. Watch it at the end as it goes from the water to being almost gone to burned really fast.

And tada! you are done!  Enjoy!


A nice variation is to add mustard to the marinade. Also, if you are not into frying and you are flexible about texture, you can steam it for about 15 minutes instead. It may fall apart a bit in the boiling down stage, so cut it into larger pieces.


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