In case the two of you haven’t met, allow me to introduce you to a member of the Soy family. His name is “Tempeh”, “Tofu’s” beefier cousin.
Tempeh, an Indonesian staple made from fermented soy beans, may remind you of a very aggressive power bar. But this inexpensive protein recasts itself as a delicious textural component in this recipe paired with vegetables and sweet potatoes in a savory curried coconut sauce.
Far from tofu in disguise, tempeh offers several benefits that bean curd can’t. The fermentation process that creates tempeh breaks down the soybeans, making them more digestible than tofu for some folks. Underrated tempeh also outshines tofu when it comes to protein, fiber, and minerals.
Many versions of tempeh may incorporate whole grains, lentils and herbs. Grain tempeh varieties are fine but avoid pre-seasoned tempeh in this recipe–I used a three-grain tempeh which was delicious.
Tempeh should always be cooked, and is especially delicious fried. My favorite way is using tempeh in stir-fried Asian dishes. The flavors of soy sauce, lemongrass, chilies and coconut milk utterly transform tempeh. Eggplant is an excellent substitute for sweet potato in this recipe. The eggplant, however, does not need as much cooking time as the sweet potatoes. Steamed white rice is the perfect accompaniment to this Indonesian-inspired curried dish.