Practicing Creativity

Tempting Tempeh – What is Tempeh and an Easy Way to Prepare it

One of my favorite vegetarian basics is tempeh. Are you familiar with it? Assuming you're familiar with better known tofu, tempeh is similar in that it is made from soybeans. But, whereas tofu is made with unfermented soy 'milk' packed into blocks, tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that after the cooking process are formed into rectangler type patties. Unlike tofu which doesn't have much flavor on its own, tempeh has a meaty texture and a nice nutty, almost bacon-ish flavor. Tofu requires pressing out the liquid before cooking, tempeh has no liquid thus this step is not required. Both are excellent meat alternatives that can be prepared in myriad ways, but if I had to choose, of the two I prefer tempeh. Tempeh also has more protein than tofu and some argue its fermentation process is better for gut health. 

Here's one of my favorite ways to prepare it!

Easy BBQ Tempeh

1. Cut each tempeh block in 1/2, cut each 1/2 in 1/2, cut each 1/4 in 1/2 'til you have 8 slices for each block.

2. In a container dowse the tempeh with your favorite BBQ sauce, making sure all pieces are well coated. 

3. Cover and let marinate in the frig for a bit. If you're in a hurry, you could go ahead and prepare it right away, but I think it has more flavor if you let it sit for at least 30 minutes. 

4. This can be baked in the oven, cooked in an air fryer or grilled. I like using my Ninja Foodi Grill air fry option (as I mentioned with my Excellent Grilled Eggplant! post it's quickly becoming my favorite way to cook). Preheat whatever you're using to 200° C (about 390°F). I set my Ninja to 200° for 12 minutes. Time and temperatures are approximate, keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

5. Place the tempeh on a backing sheet or in the air fry crisper basket and cook for 6 minutes, then turn the tempeh over and cook for 6 minutes more.

6. Remove from cooker and enjoy! I like to eat it as is the first night (this meal accompanied by homemade onion rings also made with the Ninja and coleslaw) and normally as a sandwich filling the next day. 

It makes a tasty addition to salads, too!


  1. No, never heard of tempeh. Agree, tofu doesn't have much taste.

  2. Mmmmmm.....looks delicious! I've never had tempeh....or tofu for that matter. Might have to try it!


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