“I believe individuals classify it as a meat substitute,” Lee says of tempeh, however it’s a lot extra. “It’s thought of a very celebrated supply of meals for Indonesians,” who typically depend on tempeh as their predominant supply of protein, together with fish. So let tempeh be tempeh. Don’t simply contemplate it as a one-for-one swap for, say, a steak or piece of hen. Search for recipes that decision for it and play to its strengths.
Tempeh works nicely in a wide range of dishes, together with soups, stews, stir-fries, sauces, kebabs and sandwiches, whether or not it’s handled the identical method as meat or not. Tempeh may be lower into strips, cubes or steaks. It may be grated or crumbled.
Among the many preparations to contemplate, Lee recommends baking, steaming, boiling and frying. Total, the extra floor space that’s browned, particularly in frying (whether or not deep or shallow), the higher it tastes, giving that “pretty crunch that’s tremendous moreish,” Lee says. What she doesn’t advocate: consuming uncooked pasteurized tempeh, which won’t be interesting in taste or texture and may flip you off it for good.
Tempeh acts like a sponge, which means it’s very best for marinating, which may be finished in as little as quarter-hour, although longer can be high quality. Marinating works nicely if you happen to plan to deep- or pan-fry, Lee says, as a result of it permits the substances to penetrate the inside earlier than the outside is sealed in browning. However marinating just isn’t necessary, particularly if you happen to’re planning to simmer tempeh in a broth or stew, when flavors will probably be absorbed in the course of the cooking course of. An alternative choice is to glaze, which may be finished on the finish of cooking after, say, pan-frying. You too can glaze throughout cooking. Lee likes to baste tempeh with kecap manis, an Indonesian candy soy sauce, each jiffy because it bakes. You possibly can attempt Lee’s frying-glazing combo in her recipe for Candy Soy Tempeh (Tempe Manis).