Don’t have time to cook but want something delicious? This marinated tempeh bowl is for you! It’s smothered in a simple sesame peanut sauce, sautéed until crispy and even vegan. It’s gluten free, perfect for meal prep, and ready in under 30 minutes.
Are you team tempeh or tofu? Maybe neither?! Either way, both tempeh and tofu are pretty bland foods on their own, but I’ve finally mastered the art of spicing them up!
The key? A killer sauce. One that specifically involves soy sauce, peanut butter and sesame oil. Those three ingredients are among my most used in my pantry!
TBH a good sauce is the key to any good recipe, but these three ingredients together could make absolutely anything taste good.
We all know I love sesame anything, and this marinated tempeh recipe is no exception. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make and (almost) completely hands off.
Tofu vs. Tempeh
Tempeh uses whole soybeans that have been fermented into a more firm and dense “cake.” Tofu on the other hand is made from pressed and condensed soy milk that is formed into solid almost sponge like blocks.
Both tempeh and tofu contain high amounts of protein but they have very different tastes and textures.
Tofu is much spongier and can be more fragile whereas tempeh is very dense with a slight tangier flavor.
You are welcome to use either tofu or tempeh in this recipe, or even chicken or chickpeas if you don’t like either!
How to make this recipe
This recipe is super simple. Maybe too simple?! No such thing if you ask me. First, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce.
Cut the tempeh into squares, cut each square into triangles. You can cut it into any shape you want, but I find triangles work best for this recipe.
Add the tempeh to a bowl and coat with half of the sauce. Let sit for about 20 minutes to marinate. Toss it halfway through to ensure the sauce is coating every side.
Marinating tempeh isn’t 100% necessary, but it does ensure it’s as flavorful as possible. Additionally, steaming tempeh before marinating can help remove some of the bitterness. I don’t mind the bitter (oddly enough), but I steaming for about 10 minutes before marinating can be helpful for the best flavor.
The longer you let it marinate, the more flavorful it becomes, but even just 20 minutes helps a lot. If you can, let it marinate overnight to really get the flavor inside of the tempeh.
Once the tempeh is finished marinating, heat a medium pan with 1-2 tbsp of oil over low/medium heat and add the tempeh in.
Let simmer until the sauce starts to darken and thicken slightly, then add in half of the other half of the sauce (save the other bit for drizzling on top of the bowls).
Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the tempeh to absorb the flavor. Flip halfway to ensure it is evenly cooked and doesn’t burn.
Assemble the bowls with a bed of rice and top with the tempeh, broccoli and an extra drizzle of the peanut sauce.
Can I use tofu instead? The tempeh can be subbed for extra firm tofu if you prefer. If you do use tofu, you’ll just want to cook it for a bit longer so it gets nice and crispy on the outside.
Does it keep? Once cooked, this tempeh recipe will last in the fridge for about 3-5 days. You can store the rice, tempeh and broccoli all together and drizzle on top some extra sauce so nothing dries out.
If you love to meal prep (or just love sauces like I do), make a double (or even triple) batch of the sesame peanut sauce and save it for other recipes throughout the week.
It’s great on chickpeas, chicken, salmon, or roasted vegetables. The sauce will keep for about a week in an air tight container.
Can I use almond butter? The peanut butter can be subbed for any other nut or seed butter if you have allergies, but this will of course change the flavor slightly. I have made this recipe with almond butter and it is still delicious!
Can I make this a stir fry? Yes, love that idea! I suggest stir frying (instead of steaming) your broccoli along with some carrots, bell pepper, onion, cabbage or whatever else you like with a bit of sesame oil. Then, serve that with the tempeh and rice.
More recipes you’ll love!
Marinated Sesame Peanut Tempeh Recipe
by: claire cary
- 1 block/package of tempeh 8 ounces
- 1 cup cooked rice I like using my cilantro lime rice
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- ¼ cup chopped scallions for garnish
- Optional: 1/2 avocado
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce.
- Cut the tempeh into squares, cut each square into triangles.
- Add the tempeh to a bowl and coat with half of the sauce. Let sit for about 15 minutes to marinate. Toss it halfway through to ensure the sauce is coating every side.
- Once the tempeh is finished marinating, heat a medium pan with 1-2 tbsp of oil over low/medium heat and add the tempeh in.
- Let simmer until the sauce starts to darken, then add in half of the other half of the sauce (save the other bit for drizzling on top of the bowls).
- Simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the tempeh to absorb the flavor. Flip halfway to ensure it is evenly cooked.
- Assemble the bowls with a bed of rice and top with the tempeh, broccoli and an extra drizzle of the peanut sauce.