Maple Glazed Grilled Tempeh

Right now you’re thinking, “What in the world is tempeh?” Or maybe you have a little more faith and you’re thinking, “Yes! Maple Glazed Tempeh, yummy!”  Okay, maybe the second is only a few of you.  I am therefore going to encourage the rest of you to try tempeh.

Tempeh is something I had never heard of until last spring.  I encountered it in a vegetarian cafe in Lewisburg, WV.  (Yeah I know, I was surprised, too.)  I was visiting my best friend and she suggested this cafe, because it was a “cute little hippy place.”  I thought, “Here?”

Well, she was right.  It was a coffee shop/vegetarian cafe with chalkboard menus and local roasted coffee.  My friend was really excited about her wrap, because she recently discovered their maple glazed tempeh and loved it.  I mentioned I’d never heard of tempeh and she offered me a bite.  It was delicious.  A nutty, firm soy protein, unlike bland and mushy tofu.  This was something I needed more of in my life.

When I returned from my visit, I searched the internet for where to buy tempeh and also recipe of a maple glaze like the cafe’s.  Turns out Trader Joe’s does not carry it, but Whole Foods does.  Also a blog I following casually had a good-looking recipe, so I was in luck.

The cafe served their maple glazed tempeh in a wrap, but mine has gone into a salad and as a standalone main dish served with baked sweet potato and roasted cauliflower.  Either way, marinade it, grill it and enjoy a whole new protein to add to your cooking repertoire.

Maple Glazed Grilled Tempeh

recipe from 101 Cookbooks 
2-8 oz blocks of tempeh
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2-4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

Remove the tempeh from its packaging and cut it in half down the long side, so it is thinner.  Cut your halves into 4 strips (16 in total).  Place the strips in one layer into a shallow baking dish.  In a bowl whisk together soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, grated garlic, and cayenne powder.  Pour the mixture over the tempeh strips and coat the strips in it.  Cover the dish and place it in the refrigerator for anywhere from 1-48 hours.  I find overnight is the best.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Remove the tempeh from the refrigerator and place the strips onto the grill pan.  Do not overcrowd the grill pan.  Grill each side for 4-5 minutes, until you have caramelized grill marks.  Remove from the pan and continue with the rest of the tempeh.  Once finished grilling, serve the tempeh warm.

The tempeh goes wonderfully in an arugula salad.  You can whisk the left over, marinade it with a few tablespoons of olive oil and turn it into the dressing.

I encourage you to head to Whole Foods and grab the weird-looking block of soy.  You’ll be happy you did.


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