Tempeh – it’s nutty, relatively mild, and doesn’t perform too well in the “juicy” department. But, we’ve got all of that covered with this saucy smoked tempeh cooked in a rich chipotle sauce and aromatic vegetables.
This recipe is easy and all need is a handful of ingredients to create this dish. My favorite way of serving this up is with a bed of white rice to soak up all of the sauces.
A side of garlicky mashed potatoes or homemade flatbread are also great additions to this tempeh recipe.
But first, let’s talk about tempeh. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Although it can be made from scratch – it’s just as good from the store. I often buy my block from Trader Joe’s.
The important step in this recipe is steaming the tempeh first! This helps with getting rid of any bitter “off” flavor from the tempeh.
Steaming also helps bloat the tempeh a bit, which helps make it become a vessel for all things saucy.
How To Make The Sauce
The sauce takes minutes to make with the help of a skillet and a blender.
- You’ll first cook your aromatic vegetables including crushed garlic and chopped onions in bubbling vegan butter.
- Then, add the chipotle sauce (can be spicy or mild with adobo peppers), then add your tomato paste, sugar, and salt.
- Blend until smooth! Or, until you get the texture you prefer. If you care for a chunkier sauce, do not blend for too long and adjust the blender’s settings accordingly.
How To Steam Tempeh
To steam tempeh in a saucepan, simply add about half an inch worth of water over high heat. Once at a bubble, place the tempeh block and cover the saucepan with a lid.
Allow the tempeh to steam or “boil” for about 10 minutes, or until all of the water had steamed off.
Alternatively, arrange a steamer basket in a saucepan with a few inches of water. Place the tempeh block inside, bring the water to a boil, cover, and steam for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally.
If you’re feeling bold, use this saucy smoked tempeh recipe to add with your mac and cheese, serve with a corn salad, or go for a creamy potato salad.
Saucy Smoked Tempeh
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 5 garlic cloves crushed
- 7 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt to tate
- 2 tablespoons honey or use date syrup for a vegan version (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 ounces Tempeh
- Oil/Cooking Spray
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the chipotle sauce, tomato paste, and salt. Stir and simmer on low for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer sauce, honey, dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and water into a blender and blend until smooth. Set sauce aside.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 1/2 an inch of water, salt, and smoked paprika. Once at a boil, place the tempeh inside and cover it with a lid. Steam for about 15 minutes. Remove and pat dry and cut into cubes.
- Fry the tempeh in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden on all sides. Lower heat to low. Pour and gently combine the sauce with the tempeh. Cover skillet with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
- To make this recipe vegan, switch out the honey for date syrup. Alternatively, you can use sugar, but add it to the sauce as it simmers, before blending the ingredients.
Did you try out this Saucy Smoked Tempeh recipe?
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