Friday, July 4, 2008

Jamaican Jerk Tempeh

Happy 4th of July! This recipe won't keep you in the kitchen long so you can find a great spot for viewing fireworks. It caught my eye while looking for a new way to try tempeh. If you're unfamiliar with it, tempeh is a cultured soy food that can be found in square or rectangular cakes in the refrigerated section of stores such as Whole Foods or Local Harvest Grocery. It's a good source of protein and high in iron. I've neglected tempeh, mainly turning to it for Tempeh Spread sandwiches, one of our favorites. So I'm branching out to try something new with this recipe.

For this dish, you make a quick marinade, nestle tempeh strips in a casserole dish, and bake. The marinade is simple to prepare, and smells tantalizing while baking. When I pulled this dish out of the oven, I thought, "Hmm." The strips looked kind of tan, not the most appealing food color. But I took one bite and immediately Hmm went to "MMmmm!" The tempeh has a nutty taste, and the sauce is spicy and slightly sweet. I just love the cinnamon and allspice seasonings. These strips would be delicious served with rice or just as they are with a vegetable side.

Jamaican Jerk Tempeh
adapted from Vegetarian Times

3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, diced
1 large fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
3/4 cup orange juice
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
Spritzer of extra virgin olive oil
2 (8-ounce) packages tempeh, each one cut across into ten thin strips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except for tempeh strips, in a medium bowl. Pour marinade into a large casserole dish. Put the strips in the dish, turning so that each side is dipped in marinade. The tops of my strips weren't nestled into the marinade, so I also spritzed them with some extra virgin olive oil. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


  1. Well in fairness, it probably isn't hard to kick St. Louis' butt in vegan fare! Or Illinois for that matter!

    I've had this tempeh recipe earmarked for a while now. Looks like I need to make it!

  2. Yum! I love caribbean-themed ANYTHING. These look deelish!

  3. If you're looking for another fantastic tempeh recipe, try the curried mango tempeh sandwiches from vegan with a vengeance. It's SO good! Also, if you haven't tried LightLife's tempeh bacon, pick some up next time you're at Whole Foods. We just had it for the first time this past week and it made for the best vegan BLT with avocado.

  4. Fiber, thank you! And I'm glad you left a comment, I just found your blog! If I get up my nerve I might do your Behind the Apron round up.:)

    Rural Vegan, thank goodness for Shangri-La Diner and Terrene in St. Louis!

    Mad about Udon, all this meal needs is a rum cocktail for a little getaway to Jamaica!

    Jennycestcake, thank you for the tips! I really need to try the mango tempeh recipe. Funny how some recipes catch our eye, and some get overlooked. And I think there's tempeh bacon in the fridge just waiting for some delicious tomatoes!

  5. hooray for jerked tempeh! dan and i will for sure try this recipe - jerk seasoning is his favorite! thanks for the stellar recipe! :)

  6. That looks so good! I'm so excited because I actually have all those ingredients on hand. Yay!

  7. Jessy, cool! This was my first try at jerk marinade and we really liked it too.

    Destiny's kitchen, hope you enjoy the dish!

  8. Jerk tempeh is so good! Yum yum.


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