This rich-tasting teriyaki tempeh feels a bit like eating in an Asian restaurant! I wanted to find more ways of using tempeh, which is protein-rich, good for gut health and a great meat substitute. This dish is actually very simple to make, and basically involves making a delicious and thick teriyaki sauce that coats tempeh. You can use the teriyaki sauce recipe for other dishes like stir fry - warning, you may get addicted to this sauce!
You could use these amazing pieces of teriyaki tempeh as canapes, but we wanted to serve them with rice and garnish with vegetables, spring onion and sesame seeds. This makes up a hearty full meal! So if you're looking to get a great source of protein, and have that Asian food fix, this is a perfect easy dish. You can also check out our guide on the best vegan protein, and some other very protein-rich recipes.
Tempeh is a healthy and tasty meat substitute, full of protein. It is usually made from fermented soya beans, although now you can find artisan tempeh makers that will use other beans (such as black beans and fava beans), which is perfect if you're looking for a soy-free version. We recommend trying out some products from small business Tempt Me Tempeh. Tempeh has quite a sour taste, and has a fantastic, 'meaty' texture. A lot like tofu, though, it will take on the flavours you give it (in this case, the teriyaki), which makes it really versatile. There are many other natural meat substitutes and vegan recipes for 'meaty' dishes - check out our round-up of the meatiest vegan dishes!
If you're looking for more ways to use this incredible ingredient, you have to try these Vegan Christmas Tempeh 'Sausage' Stuffing Balls which are great for any Sunday dinner, and just taste divine with Louise's best in the world roast potatoes and gravy!
The ingredients for this teriyaki tempeh are:
Tempeh - described in detail above. Great source of protein!
Tamari / soy sauce - this is the body of the teriyaki. Tamari is gluten-free and lower sugar than soy sauce, but either will do.
Olive oil - for frying the tempeh.
Cornstarch/cornflour - this is to thicken up the sauce.
Garlic and ginger - key to flavouring the teriyaki sauce.
Brown sugar - the sauce needs a little sweetness, which brown sugar is great for. For a healthier sugar, try coconut palm sugar.
Vinegar - traditionally, rice vinegar would be used, but apple cider vinegar also works fine.
To serve up, it's your choice of things like vegetables, rice, and perhaps sprinkling over chopped spring onions/scallions and sesame seeds.
This is such a simple recipe. All you do is:
- Blitz the garlic and ginger with the tamari.
- Add to a pan along with the sugar and heat.
- Add the cornflour/cornstarch at the end to thicken it. Turn off the heat and add the vinegar.
- Fry them tempeh so it's just a little crispy.
- Add some of the teriyaki sauce to the tempeh. Reserve some for drizzling.
- Pile the teriyaki tempeh on top of rice and vegetables, then drizzle on extra sauce!
Yes, you can. You can also freeze the teriyaki sauce separately from the tempeh and use it for another dish, such as a stir fry.
The teriyaki sauce is delicious and will work with other meat substitutes such as tofu, or even just as a sauce for a vegetable stir fry.
This recipe was developed by Vanessa, one of the original co-founders of this site. Vanessa is now working on her plant based health coaching business, Energise and Thrive Plant Based. She helps people get high energy, great health, and balanced eating with delicious plant-based food.
She’s also brought out her FREE Guide - 5 Steps to Balanced Plant Based Eating which you’re welcome to download. Of course, all the recipes she has created for The Vegan Larder (like this one!) will remain here for you to access.
If you love this teriyaki tempeh recipe, then you may also love:
The Best Teriyaki Tempeh
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
For the teriyaki tempeh:
- 2-3 spring onions (chopped finely)
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Some cooked quinoa / rice
- Handful of radishes, chopped
- Vegetables such as baby corn and mange tout
First make the teriyaki sauce:
- In a blender / food processor, blitz up the soy sauce / tamari with the garlic and ginger.
- Place the mixture in a pan with the sugar, and cook until the sugar dissolves. Allow it to gently come to the boil while stirring, cooking it for around 10 minutes.
- Combine the cornstarch with 4 tablespoon water.
- Turn the heat right down on the pan and add the cornstarch, mixing it in well. This will make the teriyaki sauce thicken.
- Turn off the heat, then add the vinegar. The sauce is now ready to use!
Then make the teriyaki tempeh:
- Cut the tempeh into rectangles that are about a centimetre thick (½ inch) and a few centimetres long (1½ inches). Alternatively, rip the tempeh into pieces for a more vegan ‘chicken’ kind of look. To be honest, any shape is fine!
- Heat up a frying pan with the oil on a medium heat. Once hot, add the pieces of tempeh. Give them a cook on each side for a few minutes so they are browned and also cooked through.
- Add the tempeh pieces to the teriyaki sauce and coat them in it.
- Take out each piece of coated tempeh and put on a serving dish. Any remaining sauce you can save for later, or have as extra for drizzling.
- Put rice or quinoa in a bowl, plus other delicious vegetables like steamed baby corn & mange tout.
- Place the teriyaki tempeh on top of the rice.
- Drizzle over extra sauce.
- Add your extras for garnish; spring onion, sesame seeds and radish.