Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barbecued Tempeh

One of the perks of owning a used bookstore is that you have first dibs on any of the books that come in. Sometimes they are just for borrowing and reading (eventually I hope to make my way through my own book collection), but many times they are keepers. One such cookbook is "The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen", by Peter Berley (NY: Regan Books, 2000), which is 450 pages of enthusiastic and cleanly-written and laid-out cooking ideas for the meatless kitchen. It received several publishing accolades, including a coveted James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award.

Dan has been a big fan of tempeh, those fermented, compressed cakes of soybeans and Rhizopus mold (mmmm!), but the girls and I have remained unconvinced of its delectability, until we tried Berley's Barbecued Tempeh Sandwich Filling. We altered it a bit to suit us, instead of the ground chipotle chili he recommends, we used our kitchen staple, Chipotle Tabasco sauce, and we cooked this recipe much longer to achieve the texture we like. You can check out Berley's wonderful website and try his Recipe of the Month. We recommend purchasing "The Modern Vegetarian Cookbook", but if you need a test run first, try this altered version of:

Barbecued Tempeh Sandwich Filling

1 lb. tempeh
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. paprika

Preheat oven to 35o degrees.

Slice tofu in half horizontally, then slice each piece in half.

Whisk together barbecue marinade of vinegar, soy, oil, maple syrup and spices. Pour half of marinade into a 10 x 15 glass baking dish. Lay on tempeh and then pour on rest of marinade.

Cover dish with foil, shiny side down, forming a tight seal. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, until most of marinade is absorbed. Uncover last 15 minutes in the oven.

Remove tempeh to a plate to cool.

Great as a main dish with rice or cooled as a sandwich filling.

Serves 4-6.


Sea said...

Ooh, I could just KISS you. DH hates tempeh and I've been trying and trying to find a recipe to convert him and this looks like it very well may be it! You can count on me making this next week. Mmmm!!!!

the OTHER GF veggie girl at

Rachel said...

Hi Sea:

This recipe converted me to tempeh (in limited amounts, mind you) so I think it is a winner. I think the key is its texture so that's why we extended the cooking time.

Dan sliced up some leftovers and threw them in a brown rice stir-fry and that was tasty too.



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Anonymous said...

I finally made it to Whole Foods to buy tempeh and tried this recipe tonight! Dh loved the sauce and he even seemed to like the tempeh- a total first! Thanks for sharing a great recipe- we'll be making it again!