By Shalini Kolluri
I never liked tempeh. Smelt different, looked like tofu but tasted so unique. I tried my best to give it a chance. All the literature I have ever read abot tempeh made me feel like it deserved another try. I have had it baked, sautéed, and raw on sandwiches. But this only strengthened my resolve to try harder. Once I discovered this recipe.. I fell in love with it.
I usually use organic three grain tempeh which tastes best when stir fried. It is a subtle blend of brown rice, millet and barley. Not only does it have a nutty flavor and a firm texture, it is packed with fiber, vitamins and healthy protein. Its protein content helps you maintain muscle tissue, and also make enzymes your cells need to function. Although, I must admit if its your first time, it takes getting used to.
A word of caution- tempeh is high in calories, at 320 calories per cup. Each serving contains 18 grams of total fat. While most of this fat comes from beneficial poly- and monounsaturated fats, tempeh’s high fat content makes it very calorie-dense, which means you’ll consume a large number of calories in a relatively small serving. Monitor your portion size so that you don’t accidentally overeat, which can cause weight gain over time.
To prepare the peanut sauce, combine 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon agave, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 teaspoon Sriracha, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, lime juice and pepper in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside.
To prepare stir-fry, combine 2 teaspoons agave, 5 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon Sriracha, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add tempeh and half of soy sauce mixture; stir-fry for 5 minutes or until tempeh is golden brown. Remove tempeh mixture from pan.
Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add carrot, bell peppers, and eggplants; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water; reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until beans are crisp-tender.
Stir in remaining half of soy sauce mixture, tempeh mixture, scallions, and soy bean sprouts; cook for 2 minutes or until sprouts are tender.
Serve with peanut sauce and rice.