This tempeh fried steak is a delicious vegan alternative to meat steaks. These tempeh steaks can be grilled, sauteed, or even baked for a quick and easy vegan meal option, but I prefer frying or sauteeing the steaks as it brings out their flavor the best. Tempeh steaks absorb the flavors of the gravy, sauce, or seasoning, and when fried add a soft-crispy texture to the dish.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is made from soybeans fermented into a cake/block with Rhizopus oligosporus (a fungus). Rhizopus helps in the production of lactic acid and is good for digestion. It is high in protein and less processed than tofu.
When making tempeh, the most important thing is to have a good marinade or sauce to serve along with it or cook it in. Tempeh by itself does not have a distinct flavor and is slightly bitter. But it is a great flavor absorbent and hence takes on whatever flavor the sauce or gravy has.
The spicy tahini sauce along with this steak is a blast of flavors – spicy, salty, and sweet, all in one, and compliments the meaty, umami taste of tempeh steak deliciously well. Try out this tempeh steak recipe along with the tahini sauce and you will not be disappointed.
Tempeh Steak with Tahini Sauce
- 2 block tempeh (250 gm /18 oz)
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
- For the sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil + 1/2 for sauce
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar, or honey (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli sauce (optional)
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple pulp
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of soy-miso sauce
Slice the tempeh lengthwise in half, to resemble the size of a steak.
In a skillet, heat peanut oil on medium-high heat and fry tempeh steaks for 4 to 5 minutes till it is nicely browned on both sides (Alternatively, you can also shallow fry the steaks in 2 tsp of peanut oil)
For the Sauce
In a bowl add soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, tahini, coconut sugar and lemon juice, chili sauce (optional), and ginger powder and mix well.
Heat 2 tsp. sesame oil in a skillet, add paprika powder, and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the pineapple pulp. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes.
Add soy sauce, tahini mix. Season with cumin and turmeric powder. Stir and cook till the sauce thickens. Once the sauce reaches a sticky, thick consistency, add soy miso. Mix and simmer for 1 minute.
Add fried tempeh steaks into the sauce and soak them in for 5 minutes. Serve hot with plain rice or rice noodles.
For a quick accompaniment, to go along with the steak and main, steam broccoli, zucchini, carrots and potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle leftover sauce on the veggies and tempeh and serve hot.