For me, being a vegan is a constant journey of discovery. I don’t see it as limiting the foods that I eat, I see it was opening up a whole new world of food I didn’t even know existed. It took me this long to get around to experiencing tempeh, but I had read about how it was an amazing meat substitute, especially when you were looking for a hearty flavor. I picked up a package and I was not disappointed. Scratch that. I was far beyond not disappointed. I was actually extremely pleased and impressed. Tempeh has a nutty flavor and a consistency resembling crunchy grains of rice packed together into a loaf. Mine was about the same size and shape of a cut of London Broil, which got me to thinking about how to best prepare it. I decided to cut it into slices and marinate it in soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, and a little lemon juice. Let me tell you, there is nothing like the salty/citrusy combination of soy sauce and lemon juice. I would also reccomend trying this recipe with orange juice if you have it on hand. I tend to have some issues with soy sauce,  just because I am perplexed by how salty it really is. If a recipe calls for any real amount of the liquid, your sodium levels are going to shoot through the roof. A solution that I learned a few years ago is to use a solution of 1/2 soy sauce 1/2 water when you need a good amount of moisture in your recipe. It keeps the sodium in check, but you really won’t notice a difference in flavor.
Now, I know that it is not generally safe food practice to use your marinade for cooking. This is because most marinades have been chilling out with raw meet for hours, which equals one nasty e-coli situation. Tempeh is a naturally fermented soybean cake. See how the two are different?

Lemon Ginger Tempeh

  • 1/2 a package of tempeh cut into 1″ thick strips
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper

1. Cut the tempeh into slices and peel and grate the garlic.
2. Mix garlic, soy sauce, sesame seeds, lemon juice, and 4 tbsp. water in a shallow bowl or Tupperware container.
3. Add the tempeh and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
4. When you are ready to cook, spray a nonstick pan and bring it to medium heat. Add the tempeh in a circle, cook for 3-5 minutes or until the tempeh is golden brown. Turn and cook for 2 minutes before pouring the remaining marinade over the tempeh and continue cooking until golden brown on both sides.

Serve over steamed vegetables and/or brown rice.