At NGI we had a whole day of cooking with tempeh and seitan. These are two different forms of protein that a lot of vegetarians use. Seitan is the gluten left over when you rinse away the starch in flour. Sometimes at Chinese restaurants it is called “mock meat.” Seitan has the texture of meat and can be made at home or bought at the health food store. Whereas, tempeh is cooked fermented soybeans that may also have barely or rice and salt added to it. Health food stores carry it prepackaged. Most likely you will see the Lightlife brand.
If anyone is following the new Top Chef that just started last week, Jen Zevala used seitan for her chile relleno. I give her a pat on the back for trying something new, but in my own humble opinion, seitan….well I haven’t touched it since NGI. Seitan is based out of China and was made popular in the US through the macrobiotic diet. I think it is an acquired taste. It reminds me of Laffy Taffy on steroids-minus the artificial color and flavor.
I remembered tempeh as being a more “natural” product. The flavor was a little nutty, had some crunch to it, and is chopped full of protein. I came across a recipe in The Vegetable Compass that had two of my favorite ingredients- mango & coconut milk; with the addition of tempeh. This is a revised recipe of that original one because my freezer had some things that needed to be eaten up. Before the recipe, I want to be fair to my new tempeh friend since I blasted seitan….the dish was good, not great. However, I see more potential and won’t stop until I achieve greatness! Tame the Tempeh!!
40z. of tempeh; diced
1 tbls sesame oil
1 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup of quinoa
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 mango diced
Heat the sesame oil in a medium saucepan. Add the tempeh and stir until coated. Add quinoa (be sure to rinse the quiona with water a few times before you add it). Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Add peas and garlic. Lower heat to simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes. The last 2 minutes of cooking time, add mango chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.