marinated tempeh sandwich with a quick & easy peanut sauce

8th December 2009


When I was in Australia at Sunshine Beach earlier this year, I did most of my food shopping at the Eumundi Markets.  There was a stall called ‘Gourmet Roast Tempeh’.  It was a wonderful organic stall with a mountain of freshly grown knobbly ginger and fresh turmeric root.  There were also crispy broccoli, different types of Chinese greens, bunches and bunches of fresh coriander, and of course, this delicious marinated Tempeh.   Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me to capture all that beauty but I did come away inspired to make my own marinated tempeh.

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Sunshine Beach, QLD, Australia

Tempeh is a soybean cake made by fermenting cooked soybeans.  It has the aroma that would be best described as mushroom-like.  Because Tempeh uses the whole bean (unlike tofu) it contains all its nutrients and can be considered a whole food.   Tempeh is super high in protein, fibre, phytonutrients, vitamin B2 and minerals such as manganese, phosphorus, and copper.  The fermentation increases the digestibility (especially its proteins), its nutrient absorption and most importantly it deactivates the phytates and enzyme inhibitors present in beans.

Always check the “sell by” date.  It should have one, and you should make sure that it is as fresh as possible.


marinated tempeh sandwich

makes 1 sandwich

2 slices whole grain sourdough bread

a generous slathering of peanut sauce

a few slices of marinated tempeh

1/2 avocado, sliced

plenty of fresh salad greens (lettuce, arugula, parsley etc)

grated carrot and beetroot

freshly cracked pepper

for the tempeh & marinade

I always make more than I need for the marinade as is always handy to have on hand to spruce up a meal.   I use it during the week when I make a quick fried rice for the children’s lunch in the morning.

1 regular packet of tempeh (sold in the refrigerated/ freezer department of the health food store & most supermarkets)

1/3 cup tamari

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp of mirin

1 heaped Tbsp freshly grated ginger

Place the tamari, maple syrup, mirin and grated ginger in a screw-top jar and mix well.

Place the block of tempeh in a small shallow tray, pour over 1/4 cup of the marinade and allow it to marinade for thirty minutes to an hour.  Turn the tempeh over and allow to marinade for another thirty minutes.  The longer it sits in the marinade, the stronger the flavours will be.  Any leftover tempeh & its marinade can sit in the fridge in a sealed container for 7 – 10 days.

Slice the tempeh into slabs.  Heat a little ghee/oil in a skillet and lightly saute both sides until golden.  Remove from heat and set aside.

quick & easy peanut sauce

makes about 1 cup

1/3 cup creamy organic peanut sauce

4 Tbsp tamari marinade sauce (above)

1 Tblsp lemon juice

1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot paprika or chilli powder

1/2 cup hot water

In a bowl, combine the peanut butter, sweet tamari sauce, lemon juice and chilli powder and slowly add hot water, stirring in between each addition until a creamy thick sauce has formed.  Taste and adjust by adding more tamari sauce, lemon or sweetener (honey/maple syrup).  It should be quiet thick to spread – you can thin it out later for more of a drizzling sauce.

to assemble:

Slather one half of the bread with the peanut sauce.  Place slices of avocado on top, followed by the tempeh slices, lots of greens, grated beetroot and carrot.  Drizzle with more peanut sauce if needed.  Serve immediately and enjoy, or wrap up to take to work later that day.

If you are trying to avoid bread, wrap everything up in a large lettuce leaf and drizzle lavishly in peanut sauce.  If you have time,  slice up fennel rounds and sweet potato slices, saute until a little charred in a very hot skillet and add to the sandwich or wrap.

For a salad,  toss in a bowl big handfuls of garden fresh salad greens, fresh coriander, grated carrot, beetroot, thin slices of red pepper, finely chopped fennel, avocado and some cooked quinoa/millet/rice.  In a hot skillet with a little oil, place tiny cubes of marinated tempeh and saute until golden.  Add to the salad and drizzle with peanut sauce, an extra squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.  Enjoy!


references –

Shared goodness from Stacey

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