Foodie Friday: Laksa-style Tempeh with Stir fried Veg & Vermicelli (Vegan recipe)

Friday 18 September 2020


A quick and easy vegan recipe which can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, this tasty Laksa-style Tempeh with Stir-Fried Veg & Vermicelli dish is light, but filling, and packed full of flavour.

I was asked by a friend to recommend an easy vegan recipe that she could make for a mid-week meal when she was short on time after coming home late from work. She didn't want it to include tofu or a meat substitute, so I asked if she had tried Tempeh? She hadn't heard of it, but I sent this recipe to her and she loved it!

Like Tofu, Tempeh is also made from soybeans, but the texture is completely different and I think it's the spongey feeling of Tofu that puts many people off, including my friend (check out my Tofu recipes for the best ways to cook Tofu here). Instead, Tempeh has a thicker, chewier, and more solid consistency overall as the fermented soybeans are essentially tightly packed down into a 'cake' or a log which is then usually sliced into strips, marinaded and pan-fried. Tempeh also has a slightly nutty flavour to it which some people find much more palatable than Tofu which is considerably blander.

Personally, I love both Tofu and Tempeh and find them very versatile to use in a range of meals. They're both healthy and low-fat forms of plant-based protein, and Tempeh contains almost double the amount of protein that Tofu has.

One of my favourite ways to use Tempeh is to coat it in a quick Laksa-style marinade, stir-fry it with some mixed veggies and combine it with a carb such as wholegrain basmati rice or vermicelli noodles. It's quick and delicious - give it a try!

Ingredients (makes 2 servings with leftover Laksa sauce)

  • 150g Tempeh
  • 100g Vermicelli rice noodles
  • Large handful or two of mixed veg such as Peppers, Broccoli, Carrots, Mushrooms etc
  • Toasted Sesame Oil for frying
  • Sesame Seeds, optional garnish

For the Laksa sauce/marinade
  • 1 Onion, peeled & diced
  • 2 Lemongrass stalks, stripped & chopped
  • 2 Red Chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, peeled & crushed or finely chopped
  • A thumb-size piece of Fresh Ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Handful of unsalted Cashews
  • Pinch of Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 150ml cold Water
  • 40ml Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • 1 tsp Coconut Sugar or Agave Syrup

  • In a frying pan, lightly dry toast the Cashews, Coriander and Cumin Seeds for a minute over a medium heat until fragrant and lightly brown. 
  • Add to a blender or food processor, along with all the other Laksa ingredients and blitz until you have a smooth consistency. If it's too thick, gradually add extra water 1 tbsp at a time until you have a sauce that resembles a marinade.
  • Cut the Tempeh into even slices and add to a bowl, pouring some of the Laksa marinade over the top to evenly coat. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes (you can leave it longer in the fridge up to half an hour if you have more time).
  • Whilst the Tempeh is marinating, prep your Mixed Veg by washing and chopping it.
  • Stir-fry the Veg and marinaded Tempeh in a wok or pan with a little Toasted Sesame Oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes - you can add some extra Laksa sauce to the pan to add more flavour to the veggies if you like.
  • Add the Vermicelli to a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for a few minutes to soften (or cook to packet instructions), then drain and serve in bowls with the stir-fried Veg and Tempeh. Garnish with a sprinkling of Sesame Seeds if desired. Enjoy!

Storage prep: Keep the remaining Laksa sauce/marinade in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Have you tried Tempeh before?

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