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Tempeh Tacos

January 16, 2010
Tempeh Cubes

Tempeh Cubes

What on earth is that odd looking food?  That, my friend, is tempeh–fermented soybean cake.  Unappealing to look at, maybe, but the smell and taste is wonderful.  Actually, my favorite part is the texture.  I wouldn’t call it meaty, because, well, it isn’t meat.  But it’s toothsome and has very pleasing mouth-feel.

Turn up the heat!

Time to fry

I usually just throw some ingredients together and season liberally until everything’s cooked, spicy, and hot.  But I’m trying to keep track of my recipes–even those that aren’t, so much.  So here goes:

  • 1 package tempeh (I buy the 3 grain which is a little cheaper than the plain for some weird reason)
  • 3 Tbs tamari or Braggs liquid aminos
  • 4 Tbs peanut oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small hot pepper of your choice, minced or sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsps cumin (I use whole and rub them between my hands to crush the seeds as I add them)
  • 3 Tbs jarred salsa
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 Tbs tamari (if necessary)
  • salt to taste

Cut the tempeh into desired shapes, if shapes are desired.  I wanted crumbles for my tacos so I went for cubed tempeh.  Place tempeh in a shallow pot and just barely cover them with water.  Add the 3 Tbs of tamari or liquid aminos.  Heat until simmering; simmer for about 15 minutes.  This takes away any bitterness and adds some salty flavor.  Drain and set aside the tempeh.

Using a large frying pan or skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil.  When the oil is hot (it has a particular sheen when it get hot–much before the famous “almost smoking” point), add the onions and fry.  When translucent, add the garlic & hot pepper.  I like to add salt here and salt along the way, to taste.  Stir & fry for a few minutes, then add the oregano and cayenne pepper.

    hot peppers and garlic-yum!

    Toss in hot peppers & garlic

    When fragrent, stir in the tempeh.  Fry for a little while, breaking into smaller pieces with your spoon or spatula.  You will likely  need the remaining oil at this point.  When you have some evidence of delightfully fried tempeh (crispy & browning edges), add the tomato salsa.  Stir & reduce any excess liquid.  Drizzle in the lime juice and tamari, if using.  Taste.   If the flavor doesn’t quite work, at this point I usually start messing around, adding more tamari or another tablespoon or two of salsa.

    frying the tempeh with veggies & spices

    All the ingredients in the pan

    Taco assemblage is the best part of this–besides the eating!  I layer mine with tempeh, lettuce, cucumber, tomato, a squeeze of lime, salsa, and sour cream.

    Tempeh tacos

    Thoroughly stuffed tempeh tacos

    2 Comments leave one →
    1. January 18, 2010 9:52 pm

      First time here! Everything looks great on your blog! This taco looks great!

      • libolibri permalink*
        January 19, 2010 6:58 pm

        Thanks for visiting! The taco was delicious–one of my favorite dinners 🙂

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