Today I am uploading an updated blog post for one of the recipes I have been making on repeat ever since I went plant-based about 13 years ago. It was around that time I first found out about tempeh. At the time I was still unsure about whether soy was safe for hormones, and used to hear a lot of advice to stick to fermented soy products as being a “safer” and more nutritious way to consume soy. Nearly everyone was advising tempeh but after trying it a few times I was not impressed with the taste. I even remember discussing with my friends who were also plant-based how much we disliked tempeh. Thankfully since then, I have grown wiser and more experienced with cooking tempeh and thanks to all the wonderful research on soyfoods I have become a huge advocate of consuming good quality soy products for both hormone health and overall health. You can read my article about soy phytoestrogens and how they affect women’s hormones here: https://hazelandcacao.com/how-phytoestrogens-affect-womens-hormones/
When I was first experimenting with tempeh there were very few options to choose from. The only one I had access to was from my local organic health shop in North Queensland from Primasoy
Since then there has been an explosion of different tempeh products on the market even in the major grocery stores. You can even find tempeh made from other beans like black beans and chickpeas. I have tried quite a few tempeh versions and my favourite is still the Organic Original Tempeh from Primasoy.
The main reason for this is the texture. I find Primasoy tempeh more compact and dense and it holds its form together nicely when cooked. A lot of the other tempeh I have tried crumbles and breaks apart while cooking and also doesn’t brown as nicely. It’s also Australian (made in Melbourne) using traditional Indonesian techniques. It uses Australian Certified Organic soybeans, which are sourced locally and harvested using sustainable farming practices. Personally, I trust all soy products made in Australia as they are non-GMO however I still like to support organic as I hope that one-day farming practices will return to organic as mainstream.
As mentioned previously, initially I did not like the taste of tempeh but I persevered because tempeh is such a nutritious plant-based source of protein. Tempeh is lower in isoflavones (phytoestrogens) compared to tofu however still has a fair amount to help assist with hormone balance. It is also a wonderful protein source offering a good amount of all essential amino acids and even has a small amount of vitamin b12 which is lacking in plant-based diets. Tempeh is a fermented product however it is unlikely that it offers very much in terms of probiotic bacteria especially once it is cooked, but it may still offer some probiotic benefits and is a great source of fibre or prebiotics to help assist with gut health. My absolute favourite way to make tempeh is with a sweet and sour sauce. It is one of the meals I feel confident making for guests because it is so delicious, even my parents (who are actually afraid of soy because they think it tastes disgusting) love this meal. They have both told me that it is their favourite meal I have ever made for them. The trick for this meal is to make sure the tempeh is well browned before adding in any of the remaining stir fry ingredients. I like to serve it with brown rice but also works well with noodles. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.
|Sweet and Sour Tempeh|| |
- 1 packet Organic Original Primasoy Tempeh
- 1 brown onion
- 1 TBSP oil of choice
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- large handful of snow peas
- half a capsicum
- ½ cup pineapple chunks (optional)
- SWEET & SOUR SAUCE:
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 TBSP coconut sugar
- 1 TBSP tomato sauce (ketchup)
- 1 tsp tamari
- For the sauce: mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside
- Cut tempeh into squares of the desired size
- Cut capsicum into slices or chunks of desired shape and prep the snow peas.
- Add oil to a pan on medium heat. Fry tempeh, turning until browned on all sides
- Finely dice the onion and add to frypan and fry for a few minutes until browned ( you may need to add a little more oil or water if it becomes dry)
- Add prepped veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the colour becomes vibrant.
- Pour prepared sweet and sour sauce and coat evenly. Turn off the heat.
- Serve over brown rice or noodles and sprinkle with sesame seeds.