This Thai and Indonesian-inspired Tempeh Satay has taken our love of tempeh to a new level. This is a delicious, flavorful dish that’s easy to prepare and can be added to any salad or noodle dish. Let’s get started!
Satay: The Origins
The most popular international dish is spicy peanut sauce.
Although it has its origins in Java, Indonesia, it is also a favorite dish of Southeast Asia, and Malaysia and Singapore count it as their national dish. You can find it in Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and more.
South East Asian flavors inspired this 10-ingredient recipe, and it is not authentic. The marinade is infused with flavors such as lemongrass, peanut butter, garlic, chili, turmeric, and lime. This results in a delicious, sweet, vibrant sauce, perfect for infusing tempeh.
This recipe can be cooked on the grill or top of the grill, depending on your equipment. Does not have to be skewered if you prefer. The sauce is the real magic (googly eye).
The tempeh was caramelized on the stovetop using the grill pan before it went into the oven for the final baking. The result is a tempeh that is tender, flavorful, and lightly browned around the edges.
Did you know that tempeh was first produced in Indonesia, Central, or East Java around 1800?
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product made from cooked and dehulled beans that have been inoculated by mold, then packed and incubated until the beans become bound together by mycelium.
This fermentation process is a bit strange, but it makes nutrients available to the body. Tempeh is also rich in prebiotics, which are known to improve gut health. The iron and calcium in tempeh are also great for your health.
- 8 ounces of tempeh (we prefer the Tofurky brand; ensure it is gluten-free if necessary // grain-free if required // soy-free option if desired)
- Use 2 tsp chili garlic sauce (or bird’ s-eye chilies or red pepper flake according to taste).
- 1 Tbsp of sesame seed oil (if you don’t want to use oil, add more maple syrup, maple flavoring, and coconut aminos if you do).
- Salted Creamy Peanut Butter (or Almond, Cashew, Sunflower or Cashew Butter)
- Use 6 Tbsp Coconut aminos (or substitute gluten-free Tamari*, which contains soy).
- 3 Tbsp of lime juice
- Add more maple syrup to taste.
- Fresh turmeric* 2 tsp ( optional )
- Four cloves of garlic (peeled).
- Sea salt one pinch
- Lemongrass stalk (ends cut off, cut into thirds).
Optional FOR SERVING
- Fresh cilantro
- Peanut Sauce
- Butter lettuce cups and salads
- Noodle bowls
- Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- Add the tempeh to a rimmed pan or skillet filled with water 1 inch and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Steam the tempeh for 10-12 minutes (uncovered), flipping it once halfway through.
- Rinse and pat dry. Cut into bite-sized pieces. I like to cut the tempeh into rectangles or triangles by first slicing it in half. Remember that they should be large and thick enough to fit on skewers if you are using them. Set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a processor (chili, garlic sauce, sesame, peanut butter, and coconut aminos. Also, add maple syrup, maple juice, turmeric, garlic, salt, and lemongrass). Blend until well combined.
- Add more chili if you want it hotter, maple syrup if you like sweetness, lime for acidity, or coconut aminos if saltiness is desired. You want it to be extremely flavorful, so don’t be afraid!
- Then, add the tempeh slices to the marinade and coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but preferably for 24 hours. The 24-hour marinating time gave me the best flavor. To ensure an even coating, stir/toss the tempeh occasionally while marinating. The tempeh should be marinated in either a bag or a shallow dish so that all pieces are covered in the marinade.
- After marinating, heat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or baking mat. Add tempeh to grill/oven-safe skewers and arrange them on your baking sheet. If you have any marinade left over, reserve it to serve with your tempeh after baking. ( Skip the skewers and proceed to step 8, placing tempeh on a baking sheet without skewers.
- To prevent sticking, heat a grill or pan to a very high temperature and brush the surface with coconut or sesame oil. When the grill is hot, place the tempeh skewers on it and cook them for 4 minutes on each side or until grill marks are visible.
- Place skewers on the baking sheet. To add extra flavor, drizzle them with coconut aminos or marinade leftovers. Optional, but highly recommended!
- For even cooking, bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 F or 190 C until golden brown. Flip once halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and brush/coat any remaining marinade.
- It is great on its own or with leftover peanut sauce or marinade. This tempeh is perfect for adding to Asian dishes such as lettuce cups, spring rolls, salads, and noodle dishes. Cover leftovers and store them in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for up to one month.