Soy Ginger Maple Baked Tempeh

This right here is my recent go-to baked tempeh recipe. It’s the perfect combination of savory umami flavor, with a hint of maple sweetness, and a bit of heat from ginger. You can up the spice level with some Sriracha, but more on that later.Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.37.38 PM

Never had tempeh? Well perhaps you should give it a try.  Two important things about tempeh: 1) tempeh is made out by fermented soybeans into a weird dense cake thing, and 2) tempeh is way better than I just made it sound.

When I try to describe tempeh to people, I usually go with “it’s kinda like tofu, but heartier and with a toothier texture.”  If you’re looking for a cheap ($1.99 for an 8-ounce package at TJs!), versatile protein, give tempeh a try. It’s great on salads, in grain bowls, or in tacos.

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Someone recently asked me on Instagram how I make my tempeh, and actually this is a question I get a lot when I recommend it to people: “Like, what do I do with that log thing made of soybeans?”

Personally, I love tempeh so much, I can eat it cold, plain, and with salt. But for those less obsessed than I, here is one of my favorite ways to prepare it:

Prep Time:  5 minutes + at least one hour to marinate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: at least 90 minutes, the longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (depending on desired level of ginger-heat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Cut tempeh into slices, cubs, or triangles (however you desire it)
  2. Mix soy sauce, maple syrup, oil, ginger, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  3. Place tempeh in a small shallow dish and pour marinate evenly over the tempeh.
  4. Place tempeh in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes, up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Place tempeh on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour extra marinate from the pan over the tempeh.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes, then flip, and bake an additional 18-25 minutes, until desired texture is reached.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu

I have been on a several-year-long quest to make drop-dead delicious tofu. You know, tofu that has that perfect texture with the crispier outside and chewy inside, and that’s full of flavor that would even leave even a vegetarian-hating-carnivore begging for more.

Miso Ginger   Tofu Vegan

Over the 15 years of my vegetarianism, I have had myself quite a bit of tofu. Baked, fried, made into pudding, in salads, stirfrys, noodle dishes, etc etc etc. I like tofu. Heck, I’d even say I love the stuff. I even eat it plain and cold and straight from the fridge from time to time. Some people turn their nose up to it without ever giving it a shot. Major bummer/loss for them, because as many vegetarains, vegans, and meat-eaters know, the stuff can be crazy delicious.

Ginger Miso  Baked Tofu Vegan

I’ve read all sorts of things about how to make to-die-for tofu happen. After years of experimenting, I think I finally a method that makes me sing. This is a multi-step process, but if you’re crunched for time or lazy, you can easily skip parts and your tofu will still turn out okay. Honestly, I think one of the most critical steps is freezing the tofu before reheating. It sounds strange, but the tofu seems to adapt a new texture and chewiness as a result. It’s nom-tastic.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

The whole freezing/reheating thing was actually something I discovered by accident while in college. I used to buy myself a block of tofu, and would often eat only half. As I’m a paranoid freak about food safety, I felt uneasy leaving it the fridge for a few days, so I’d pop it in the freezer. After a while, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked it better reheated out of the freezer. Googling lead me to find that this wasn’t just in my head, but an uncommonly known method that people sometimes use to achieve chewy-texture-tofu.

Ginger Miso Tofu Vegan

One of the great things about tofu is that not only can you manipulate the texture to suit your palate, it’s also a blank canvas for flavor. When presented with the Recipe Redux April challenge – “Spring Cleaning” – to go through your pantries and use something you haven’t used in a while, I saw a perfect opportunity to make use of the White Miso Paste I bought at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, but haven’t yet played around with.

Miso Ginger Tofu Vegan

I’ve also been on a super sushi-and-Asian-flavored-kick lately, which has resulted in me dragging my mom to half-price sushi on a weekly basis. We even went for Easter dinner b/c we’re so #fancy. No matter what night of the week it is, I always order a couple rolls and a house salad. The house salad comes with this amazing Carrot Ginger Miso dressing stuff dumped all over it, and it has been infatuation from the first bite. I always lick up every last drop. I hoard the freakin’ bowl when the waitress tries to politely collect it when all the lettuce is gone, so I can use it as a dipping sauce for my sushi. I’m insane. Go ahead and judge.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

Anyways, such a flavor inspired me to glaze my tofu in a miso-ginger marinade of sorts. Ginger Miso Baked Tofu resulted. I was extremely pleased with the results. A lovely umami and subtly spicy flavor and a to-die-for hearty chewy texture, this recipe is a keeper for me, and I hope you’ll give it a whirl and find it to be the same. You can cut the tofu into whatever sized pieces you fancy; I made little nuggets and found them perfect for topping salads, stir-fries, and dipping straight into Sriracha as a snack. No matter how you slice it, it’s gonna be delish. Happy tofu-eating!

Miso Ginger Tofu  Vegan

 

Prep Time: 1-8 hours (depending on how long you let the tofu drain and/or marinate)
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Level: easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce package Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey ??
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice or water

Directions:

1. Drain excess water out of tofu by removing from package, and wrapping in a paper towel, and pressing gently on block of tofu to squeeze out liquid. For best results, place a weight (like a book or block) on top of covered tofu and allow to press out liquid for a few hours or overnight.

2. Meanwhile, prepare marinade by combining miso paste, soy sauce, brownu sugar/honey, freshly grated ginger, garlic and OJ or water in a small dish and whisk with a fork to combine.

3. Slice tofu into cubes or large rectangles, depending on your preference. Lay flat in a baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu, cover, and allow to marinade for 1-3 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper. Transfer tofu from the baking dish to parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Flip tofu halfway through cook time if desired. Allow to cool and enjoy! 🙂

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

For more recipes inspired by the April Spring Cleaning Recipe Redux Challenge, click around below: 🙂

Soba Noodle Asian Kale Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing

The April Recipe Redux challenge was to make a dish, and repurpose the leftovers of that dish for another meal. It’s like double the yummies with one grocery trip. Win.

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

I’ve been wanting to play with Soba noodles for a while now. There’s something I love about the idea of a cold soba noodle salad.  I also love anything covered in gingery-soy dressing. Which is why I go to half price sushi every week with my mom and order a salad just so I can DRINK the ginger dressing they put on top. And then when the server comes to clear my bowl I hoard my bowl like “NO! I NEED THAT DRESSING!” so I can dip my sushi into it and soak up every last drop. I’m boarderline insane. Or just really weird. Or both. Anyways, SOBA:

Soba Noodle Salad  Vegan

I used my leftover Asian Kale Salad, added it to some cooked soba noodles, used the same dressing, and threw on some tempeh (could sub tofu or omit completely), and viola! Meal 2.0 was born, drenched in soy gingery goodness.

Asian Kale Salad Edamame Soy Ginger

Okay so I need to relax about my dressing obsession; regardless, this is a healthy, refreshing, yet filling and nourishing meal. The soba noodles were a welcome change of pace for me. I actually really loved the unique buckwheat flavor. They have a bit of a heartier feel to them than regular noodles, yet all the slippery slidy mouthfeel. Another bonus was that they cooked in 4 minutes are a source whole grain. Yay whole grains! #carbs5ever

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan tofu

Combine with the crunch from the Asian Kale Salad, the edamame, and the tofu, it makes for a power-meal that will keep you going for hours wtihout feeling icky or weighed down. This is like a bowl of power noodlez, y’all.

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 minutes
Level: easy

serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soba noodles, cooked (about 4″ in diameter, uncooked)
  • 1 cup Asian Kale Salad
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Soy Ginger Dressing
  • 3/4 cup tempeh or tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or green onions (optional)
  • hot sauce or Sriracha (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook soba noodles according to direction on package. Drain and allow to cool. Transfer to bowl.

soba noodles

2. Pour 1/2 cup Sesame Soy Ginger Dressing on noodles and stir until noodles are lightly coated. Add Asian Kale salad and toss again.

Soba Noodle Salad  Vegan

3. Cube tempeh or tofu and use to top noodles. Chop cilantro or green onions and add to noodle bowl. Add hot sauce or Sriracha as desired. Enjoy~!

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame  Vegan

For more make one, eat twice ideas, click around below! Happy eating :-).