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Coconut rice and fried tempeh

February 23, 2010

This whole meal was inspired, for the most part, by Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry.  I first learned about his delicious cook book through Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks, when she interviewed Terry and reviewed his recipe for Jamaican Veggie Patties.  Vegan Soul Kitchen has great advice on cooking tempeh and assuaging fear of blandness.  Terry lists frying, boiling in stock, and baking in sauce as the best three ways to imbue tempeh with flavor.  I tend to use two methods together–advice from Isa Chandra Moskowitz in Vegan with a Vengeance–steaming or boiling first to get rid of bitterness, marinating in the desired sauce/liquids, and frying or baking.

Coconut Rice:

  • 2 rice cooker cups of jasmine or basmati rice
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 3/4 Cup coconut milk (try to get solids as well as liquids if you can has separated)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • water to 2 cup fill line in rice cooker

Add rice, coconut, lime zest, lime juice, coconut milk, and sea salt to the rice cooker bowl.  Add water to fill line.  Stir ingredients gently to mix.  Set to white rice; allow to cook.

This could also be adjusted for regular stovetop cooking; swap out the lime juice and coconut milk for the equivalent recommended water on the package.  Use water for the remaining recommended amount.

Fried tempeh:

  • 1 package tempeh cut into desired shapes (I did squares, halved them width-wise, and cut those thinner slabs into triangles)
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid amino acids

Mix the chili paste, hot sauce, and soy sauce in a shallow saucepan with a couple inches of water in it.  Add the cut tempeh.  Bring to a simmer; simmer 10-15 minutes.

Make a marinade of the following ingredients:

  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 Cup cooking rice wine
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut sauce

Let tempeh bask in the marinade while the rice cooks; when rice has about ten minutes left, add peanut oil to your frying pan and heat over high.  When the oil is hot, add the tempeh, being careful not to splatter the oil.  Adjust heat as necessary to avoid smoking the oil.  Fry until browned on both sides.  You may need to add more oil while frying.  When browned, turn heat up for a few seconds (if using a gas range) or minutes (if using an electric range), then add the marinade and reduce.  Flip tempeh once or twice while reducing.

As the tempeh fries, or just before, throw together you vegetable: toasted cumin carrots and green beans:

  • 1 handful green beans, stem end snapped off & snapped or cut in half
  • 2 carrots, sliced inch long & 1/4- 1/2 inch wide sticks
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • frying oil of your choice (peanut oil, olive, coconut, etc)

Heat oil in a small pan; add cumin seeds and fry until toasty and aromatic.  Add carrots and green beans.  Fry until just tender.  Serve hot.

Yum.  How’s that for inspiration?  Thanks, Bryant Terry!  Be sure to check out his website for recipes from Vegan Soul Kitchen.  I’d also recommend the cookbook Grub, co-written with Anna Lappé.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2010 11:16 pm

    I’ll have to try this.

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