We spent our honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia. One afternoon, we visited the home of a local Balinese family and dined together on a feast of traditional Balinese food. All the dishes were delicious, but none intrigued our taste buds more than this granola-like substance tossed together with an array of savory vegetables. We came to learn this ingredient was called tempeh, a staple source of protein in Indonesian cuisine. Like tofu, it is made from soybeans but tempeh’s taste and texture is very different, as are its nutritional characteristics. Because it retains the whole bean, tempeh is firmer with a distinctive nutty taste and nougat-like texture. In addition to a higher content of protein, tempeh also has dietary fiber and vitamins, making it far more health-promoting than animal flesh. Because it goes well with so many combinations of foods and flavors it would be a great addition to any stir-fry.
3 tbsp vegetable broth, divided
1 lb tempeh, cubed
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 handfuls of spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Steam the tempeh in a steamer basket for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Saute the tempeh in 2 tablespoons vegetable broth for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned.
3. Add red bell pepper and onion and drizzle in remaining broth. Saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are softened but still slightly crunchy. Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and saute until just wilted. Serve immediately.
Sources: Swedish Research Council. “New Vegetarian Food With Several Health Benefits.” ScienceDaily 30 May 2008. /releases/2008/05/080528095627.htm>.