Listen- I’m a newbie to tempeh. I honestly avoided soy completely until I did some research and found out not all soy is created equal.
TOFU is soybean curdled and pressed. It is typically more spongy, absorbs flavor well, and has a more rubbery texture. Firstly, most tofu is GMO, which has many downsides for your health and the environment (Someday I will do a whole blog post on this topic!). However, even organic tofu contains phytoestrogens, which act like estrogen mimickers in the body. For men, this excess estrogen leads to more feminine characteristics, while in women, it can lead to breast cancer, cervical problems, and gut health. Lastly, tofu contains antinutrients, which can lead to leaky gut, bloating, and digestive stress. So, based on this, tofu for me is a no-go!
TEMPEH however, is a different story. Tempeh is the soybean fermented whole. It has a denser and meatier texture. It is a great source of protein. Because it is fermented, it is rich in probiotics (aka gut healing), boosts bone health, and promotes digestive health. The fermentation process reduces the antinutrients that are present in tofu, creating a gut healthy protein source.
Based on this, I opt for tempeh as my soy-based protein because of its benefits and avoid tofu because of its downsides.
Tempeh is fairly easy to cook- you can boil it and then sauté or grill it, or just throw it in the pan! It has a nuttier flavor but is extremely customizable to your favorite sauce or marinade. This Teriyaki Tempeh Bowl is one of my favorites- the sticky, salty, and sweet teriyaki tastes like a healthy version of Chinese food takeout (from my pre-plant-based days). It’s a win-win!
Ready to delve into the recipe?
Teriyaki Tempeh Bowls
By: Grace // Just A Veg
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Brown rice (cook enough for 2 people. Quick cooking rice, like this one from Bob’s Red Mill, will expedite this process.)
1 8 oz package of organic tempeh
Sesame seeds to garnish
4 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons water
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Ground pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Begin cooking your rice.
- In a wide bowl, mix marinade. Slice tempeh and add to marinade, coat, and let sit for 20 minutes
- Heat a pan on medium heat with some sesame oil. Add tempeh (leave leftover marinade in the bowl!) and cook on one side until browned, about 2-4 minutes. Flip, and cook the other side until browned
- While the tempeh is cooking, use the leftover marinade to make the sauce. Add the sauce ingredients to the marinade and mix.
- Once tempeh is cooked, turn off the heat. Add the sauce to the pan (it will bubble) and coat the tempeh. Let sit for 3-5 minutes, until sauce is sticky.
- In two bowls, add lettuce, cooked brown rice, tempeh, and avocado. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
I hope you love this recipe! As a new-ish tempeh user this recipe has been my go-to! Let me know how you like it down below 🙂
Have a great week!
Grace // Just A Veg ♥