A smoky slow cooked dish of wholesome tempeh, chunky sweet potato and green beans. Ideal served up with brown rice or fresh crusty bread.
Made from cooked, fermented soya beans and originating from Indonesia, Tempeh packs a nutritional punch. With more protein than tofu since it uses the whole bean and high in fibre, calcium, and iron, tempeh is ideal for vegetarian and vegan cooking. What distinguishes tempeh from tofu, you may ask? Where tofu is made from the curds of the bean, tempeh is formed from the whole bean – hence the greater health benefits.
Tempeh is an ingredient I don’t have a great deal of experience with – I used it probably a decade ago now, didn’t really like whatever it was that I made with it (I can’t remember at all), then never used it again. I’ve been wanting to give it another go for a while now ever since having sampling some in an amazing dish at a veggie restaurant in Dubrovnik last year. It took me a while to decide what to make with it – tempeh “bacon” is often raved about – but I opted to use it in the slow cooker.
Usually found in a solid block or sold in thick slices, tempeh keeps its shape and texture well in the slow cooker. It does have a fairly strong taste of its own, but apparently you can steam tempeh prior to cooking to remove some of these more bitter elements of its taste and I will definitely be giving this a go next time I cook with it. You can optionally include this step in the recipe here and steam for ten minutes prior to the browning step, either in a steamer if you have one or cheat by simmering in a very shallow amount of water.
500g Tempeh, cut into thick slices
600g Sweet potatoes
200g green beans
2 red onions, cut into eights
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3tbsp olive oil
2tbsp tomato purée
2tsp smoked paprika
1tsp ground cumin
250ml vegetable stock
1tbsp Henderson’s Relish (or vegetarian Worcester sauce)
Plenty of black pepper
- Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan, or the slow cooker insert (if suitable), over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and spices and fry for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften.
- Removed the onion mix from the pan and place to one side. Add the remaining olive oil to the still-hot pan (without washing the pan – you want to retain any leftover spices). Once hot, add the tempeh.
- Cook the tempeh for approximately ten minutes until it is browned on each side.
- Return the onions to the pan, along with all other remaining ingredients. Mix well and transfer to the slow cooker – it is important to do it this way round so that the flavours from the pan are transferred to the final dish.
- Cook on high for four hours or low for eight to ten hours.
Have you ever cooked with tempeh? What is your favourite way of cooking it?