Spicy Stir-Fried Tempeh With Basil
Recipe from “A Spoonful of Ginger” by Nina Simonds (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999)
In this flavorful recipe, tempeh is grilled to sear in the flavors. The fermented soy product known as tempeh is extraordinarily nutritious, and the red chiles in this recipe give it a spicy kick.
Because of its dense, chewy texture, tempeh (made from soybeans and grains) is a filling and tasty meat substitute. Tempeh is definitely the food of the future; it is extraordinarily nutritious and is often recommended in Asia for frail people.
Food as Medicine
Also, along with other soy products, tempeh is believed to be especially effective in addressing cancer and heart disease.
1 1/2 pounds soy tempeh, cut into slices 1/2-inch thick and 2 inches long, then cut diagonally in half
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons (expeller-pressed) canola oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh red chile, ends trimmed and seeds removed
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into thin julienne slices
Sauce (mixed together):
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups fresh Thai holy basil or sweet basil leaves, stems removed, rinsed, drained and coarsely shredded
- Put the tempeh in a bowl, add the marinade, and mix to coat. Marinate 20 minutes.
- Prepare a medium-hot fire for grilling or heat a heavy skillet for searing.
- Arrange the tempeh 3 inches from the source of heat and grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Alternatively, you may sear the tempeh on each side for 2 to 3 minutes in 1 teaspoon of hot oil. Remove, let cool slightly, and cut on diagonal into thin slices.)
- Heat a wok or skillet, add the oil and heat until very hot, about 30 seconds.
- Add the Seasonings, and stir-fry about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the onions are tender, tossing over high heat.
- Give the premixed sauce another stir and add to the pan. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cooked tempeh and fresh basil; baste the tempeh with the sauce.
- Transfer to a serving platter and serve with rice and a vegetable, if desired.