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Tempeh With Curried Coconut Sauce

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAsian
Tempeh With Curried Coconut Sauce

Chef-instructor Barbara Rich
Institute of Culinary Education
Pasadena, Calif.

Plant-based cooking is an important part of the curriculum at the Institute of Culinary Education. This Indian-inspired recipe uses tempeh as a base for curried vegetables in a coconut milk sauce. Chef-instructor Barbara Rich, who teaches at the California campus of the school, created the recipe.


Marinated tempeh

1½ cups apple juice

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tbsp. rice syrup

1 in. piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in 3 pieces

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 tsp. sea salt

1 package (8 oz.) tempeh, cut diagonally in half

Curry sauce

3 tbsp. canola or coconut oil

1¼ cups pure coconut milk

1/3 cup reserved marinade (see above)

3 tbsp. curry powder

¼ cup rice syrup

1 tbsp. kuzu (Japanese root starch) dissolved in 2 tbsp. water

Pinch sea salt

2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Black rice

Grilled pineapple chutney

1 tbsp. canola or coconut oil

½ red onion, sauté sliced

½ red bell pepper

¼ jalapeño, seeded and minced

½ pineapple

½ tsp. salt, or to taste

1 tsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. cilantro, minced


  1. For marinated tempeh: In large saucepan, combine apple juice, curry powder, rice syrup, ginger, garlic and salt. Over medium heat, bring to a boil.
  2. Add tempeh to mixture; reduce heat to low. Cover pot and simmer tempeh for 30 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove tempeh from pot; pat dry and let cool. When cool, cut diagonally into 12 slices, each 1/8-inch thick. Reserve marinade.
  4. For curry sauce: Heat 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat; add oil until heated through. Brown tempeh in hot oil on both sides; drain on paper towels. 
  5. Into same sauté pan over medium heat, pour coconut milk and 1/4 cup remaining marinade. Whisk in curry powder and rice syrup. Reduce heat to low.If coconut milk is too thin, add kuzu slurry to sauce mixture, stirring constantly until thickened and sauce reaches desired consistency. (If coconut milk is thick enough, there is no need to use kuzu in this recipe.)  Season with sea salt to taste.
  6. Prepare pineapple chutney: In saute pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion; saute until translucent. Meanwhile, roast pepper over open flame. When skin is blackened, place in paper bag for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove pepper from bag; let cool and remove blackened skin. Dice pepper and add to pan with onion. Stir jalapeno into onion-pepper mixture. Cook 5 minutes; set aside.
  8. Peel and cut pineapple into 4 wedges of equal size. Grill slices and set aside. When slices are cool, cut into medium-small dice and add to onion and pepper mixture. Season with salt and lime juice and garnish with minced cilantro.
  9. To serve, pour curry sauce over tempeh right before serving; garnish with cilantro and serve with pineapple chutney and black rice.

Photo courtesy of Institute of Culinary Education

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