Today's recipe is a riff one of my favorites from Andrea Nguyen's latest book, Vietnamese food every day. This is a caramelized tempeh crushed, which immediately becomes the best ingredient in your rice bowl. If you're on the fence about tempeh, this is the place to start.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is a soy-based fermented whole food and very much a favorite in traditional Indonesian culture. To make the tempeh, the soybeans are impregnated, partially cooked, in combination with a starter, and then spread on a layer to allow fermentation. A lot goes on at this stage, and you can read a more detailed play-by-play on tempeh production here. Soy tempeh is more common, but there are other variations. You can also see tempeh in combination with other energy ingredients such as flax, or other spores.
Andrea recognizes that tempeh is not a traditional Vietnamese ingredient, but uses it in banh mi, pho, and collapses like the meat "when broken down into small pieces … tempeh absorbs spices well and potatoes fine."
Why Tempeh is such a Power Food
Tempeh is widely considered a component of electricity because it is rich in a good range of nutrients. It also weighs beautifully on fiber, antioxidant and protein fronts. Add to this fermentation agent (basically, fermentation helps with nutrient absorption and digestibility) and you have a food that works for you, not against it. Many people like to substitute tempeh for meat. For example, this temboem can take the place of a pork batter. Here you can find more tempeh recipes, and I like this list of tempeh benefits at McKel's Diet is stripped Web page. More tempeh in 2020!
The Tempeh Crumble Recipe
Andrea's version uses 1/2 cup chopped lemongrass. Lemon adds beautifully scented citrus notes and is one of my favorite flavors. That being said, when I was in a hurry to make dinner, I found myself skipping the 1/2 cup of chopped lemon (the lemon in my yard is crazy hard) and repeatedly making this shortcut. It uses scrambled bread and extra green onions – still very tasty, just quicker toss together.
How to use Tempeh Crumble
Here (above) you see tempeh collapsing as an ingredient in a bowl of rice. The main ingredients are rice and tempeh collapses plus what is always easy and hand in the fridge or cupboard. Grab peanuts, some garden lettuce, cucumber, carrots and avocado. It would also be great on these Vegan Nachos, these Wraps Warm Lime Garlic, or the tempeh in this Salad Taco.