I love tofu but have not been able to wrap my head around tempeh. I’ve tried various recipes over the years and things just never tasted great. Last year in Singapore, my friend Christopher Tan took us to an Indonesian restaurant and the fried tempeh was amazing, nutty and multidimensional. I sensed that the process for culturing and fermenting the soybeans in Asia yields a superior product. Plus, many cooks there are comfortable with using tempeh. I began to warm up to tempeh.
A couple of vegetarian and vegan friends in the States have urged me to tackle it. Case in point: Randy Clemens contributed a sriracha tempeh recipe for the banh mi book. I was skeptical at first but it turned out to be a knockout. The tempeh was marinated, baked, then lightly seared. The result was big flavor in a vegan package. Randy wrote a great blog post about his lemongrass and sriracha tempeh banh mi.
While I was doing banh mi book events in Seattle in September, Michael Natkin mentioned a tempeh pot sticker in his book, Herbivoracious. It’s really easy and delicious, he said. I put it on my to-try list and gave it a whirl this weekend. I couldn’t agree with him more.