Monday, September 14, 2009

The Joy of Soy Tempeh

I saw some tempeh on sale at Whole Foods yesterday so you know I had to get it!

I LOVE tempeh - probably even better than tofu because it feels like you're actually eating something. It's a lot more dense than tofu and less slimy. The first few times I cooked with it, I made the mistake of saute-ing it with all kinds of seasonings and sauces, but I realized that it's best plain. Actually, I think it's best raw but that's just me...

Here's what it looks like raw:

You can see the fermented soy beans all smushed together.

For last night's salad I decided to saute it with a little olive oil to give it some color.

It browns pretty quickly and if you're not careful it gets pretty hard, too.

This Asian-inspired salad had steamed broccoli, snap peas, mesclin mix, tempeh, scallions and an almond sauce that was actually less than steller. I'm not going to bother sharing the recipe with you since I wasn't too keen on it and ended up scraping it off. I did put a LOT of hot sauce on it though, which made the salad uber-yummy.

For dessert, I had Japanese melon pan that I had bought at Zaiya near Bryant Park.

It's basically a sweet bread that is covered in a thin layer of cookie-like dough and then sprinkled with sugar. It's called Melon Pan because it looks like a melon but it certainly doesn't taste like one. This one was super chewy and lovely. However, it pales in comparison to the melon pan I used to buy from carts in the streets of Kyoto...

Then tonight, I had some more of my tempeh but in a less healthy form. My mom and I were talking the other day about how there are some times when you just don't have the will/energy/time to cook something and those times are when instant noodles come in handy.

I had gotten this for free from a race back in May so I thought I would give it a shot...

I "volumed-up" as they say in Japan and added fresh scallions, tempeh, and snap peas to it.

I love seeing things in groups of five because it reminds me of my family :) Weird, I know....

The noodles came with these "vegetables" but I decided not to put it in for obvious reasons.

With a little hot sauce on top it actually wasn't TOO bad but I definitely still have quite an after-taste from it. TOO CHEMICAL!!! In any case, it was quick and easy and hit the spot so I can't complain too much. I'm just not going to think about what's going on in my body right now.

There are so many ways you can eat tempeh and I highly recommend trying it because not only is it tasty but it's super good for you! If you're a first-timer though, make sure it's seasoned. It actually comes in several flavors (bbq, teriyaki...etc.) though I've never tried them. In the past, I've put it in sandwiches with some melted cheese and ketchup (surprise, surprise), in salads, and once I tried it as a meat substitute by giving it Cajun seasoning. It didn't work out too well because it dried out a bit but that may have been because I cooked it for too long. I got my package for $1.99 which didn't seem too bad to me... Try it and let me know what you think!

PS-I currently have Jordin Sparks "Battlefield" on repeat. Somebody stop me!


  1. We tried those pre-packaged meals from the race as well and we didn't really love them either. I added chicken to pump it up and it just was really oily and not that great. I don't think it's something I would ever purchase....Tempeh huh??? I don't know if I'll ever be adventurous enough!

  2. Mmmmm.... Melon Pan!!!