Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sesame Ginger Tempeh with Soba Noodles

Adapted from: Spa Cuisine at Home, Chef Nadine, BCAE class

This Asian-inspired meal is a nice change from the ordinary, and packs healthy protein from both the soba noodles and the tempeh. Tempeh comes in a number of different flavors- I think I used a 5-grain version here, which worked well. The important thing is marinating the tempeh, since on it's on, tempeh's flavor is not really my favorite. But together, this makes for a yummy dish. I love the soba noodles. Grab your chopsticks and enjoy!

  • 1/4- 1/2 cup light soy sauce (go for low-sodium too)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar (for cucumber) + 3 Tbs (for noodles)
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil + 1 tsp (for brushing pan)
  • 3 tsp sucanat (I used plain-old brown sugar, and that works fine - 2 tsp for cucumber, 1 for tempeh)
  • 1 ounce of wakame seaweed (can't find it? no worries, the dish doesn't lose much by leaving it out)
  • 2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 5 green onions, diagonally sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbs minced ginger root
  • 1 cucumber, julienned
  • 10 ounces Soba noodles, dry
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 shaved carrot (if desired)
  1. Steam the tempeh whole for 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges.
  2. Combine ginger root, soy sauce, sucanat, and sesame oil and pour over steamed tempeh. Let marinade for 1-2 hours, turning at least once.
  3. Place the seaweed in a bowl and pour enough hot water over to cover it. Leave for 30min, then drain. Squeeze out any excess liquid and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Combine with cilantro and set aside.
  4. Julienne the cucumber and place in separate bowl with 1/2 cup rice vinegar and 2 tsp of sucanat/brown sugar.
  5. Prepare soba noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles in a colander and run under cold water. When they are cold, toss with the 3 Tbs of rice vinegar, the green onions, and salt.
  6. After marinating the tempeh, heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush baking pan with small amount of oil and place tempeh wedges in pan. Pour any remaining marinade over the tempeh and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and sauce is bubbly.
  7. Add the seaweed & cilantro mix to the soba noodles.
  8. To serve, place noodles on plate/bowl, garnish with cucumber salad mix and shaved carrots and add tempeh wedges.
Notes: The original recipe suggests marinating the tempeh for 2 or more hours. Not necessary! I marinated for 35min and the tempeh had plenty of flavor- actually, too much soy sauce in my mind. I'd suggest using 1/4 cup of soy sauce instead, and marinating for about 30 minutes. I'd also suggest playing around with the other sauce amounts- you want to marinate the tempeh but not drown it, so go according to your taste. Also, there are a number of places here where you can cut corners and not really sacrifice much flavor- the seaweed step, in particular, can be cut if you can't find seaweed or don't want to add an extra 30min to the preparation process. Also, I added shaved carrots to the dish; you could also slice them finely and cook them- either way, I think carrots are a good addition.

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