Vegetarian Cooking: How to Cook Tofu or Tempeh
How to cook tofu and tempeh, tasty tofu & tempeh recipes, tempeh subs for tofu
After a lot of back and forth, I have finally settled in to my vegetarian lifestyle. I am having trouble finding things to eat, however. I fine myself constantly eating the same meals, and it gets a little bland and boring after a while.
Recently I went to a restaurant and tried a meal using tempeh and absolutely loved the flavor and texture. After going out and buying lots of it, I discovered that I have NO IDEA how to cook it! When I tried it, it tasted like burnt cardboard. Also, I am terrible at cooking tofu. It always comes out a sloppy mess.
I am a decent cook, but I cannot seem to get the hang of this! Any advice on how to cook tempeh, or tofu? – K. Y.
Savvy Vegetarian Advice:
What to Do with Tempeh:
Hi K. Y. Tempeh should first be steamed for 20 minutes (less if you cut it up), for food safety reasons, as it’s a raw fermented food. Steaming also mellows the flavor and plumps it up. After that, you can fry, barbecue or bake it, add it to stir fries, sandwiches, wraps, sloppy joes, casseroles, stews or whatever you want.
Tempeh Recipe #2: Thai Kale Tempeh Curry, my favorite way to prepare tempeh. It holds together well, takes on lots of flavor from the marinade and sesame oil, is chewy but has a nice texture, and I didn’t need to use a lot of oil to get a tasty result.
Tempeh Recipe #3: Tempeh Bacon from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day. Tempeh bacon is delicious, chewy & substantial, low fat, high protein and vegan. Unlike bacon, it’s a healthy food and won’t clog your arteries.
What to Do with Tofu:
With tofu, a lot depends on the firmness. Most recipes seem to need firm or even extra firm tofu, and the firmness varies a lot with the brand. You have to try out a few brands available in your area, and see what works best for you.
About the lack of variety in your diet:
Get yourself a few vegetarian cookbooks that appeal to you, and try a new recipe once a week, with at least one unfamiliar ingredient. Here’s a list of good cookbooks to choose from.
After 52 weeks, your vegetarian recipe repertoire will be greatly expanded.
On the other hand: After umpteen years as a vegetarian, and coming up with new recipes for Savvy Veg all the time, I still tend to make the same six basic recipes, with variations, constantly.
Let’s face it, cooking is faster and easier that way. It’s the many possible variations that save my vegetarian diet from dullness.
All the best, Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian