If you’re in the mood for a grill-friendly recipe, look no further.
We’ve taken our love for tempeh to new depths with this Thai- and Inodnesian- Inspired Tempeh Satay. It’s extremely flavorful, easy to make, and perfect for adding to just about any noodle or salad dish. Let’s do this!
Origins of Satay
Satay is a dish of skewered meat grilled and often served with, and/or marinated with an accompanying sauce, perhaps the most common internationally being spicy peanut sauce.
Though it’s origins lie in Java, Indonesia, satay is a South-east Asia favorite, with Malaysia and Singapore aso counting it among their national dishes. It can also be found in Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, and beyond. Learn more about the history of satay here.
This 10-ingredient recipe is not authentic, but inspired by South-east Asian flavors. It starts with a flavorful marinade infused with lemongrass, peanut butter, chili, garlic, turmeric, and lime. The result is a tasty, sweet, vibrant sauce that’s perfect for infusing the tempeh.
The lovely thing about this recipe is it can be prepared on the grill, on the grill top, or in the oven depending on what equipment you have. It doesn’t have to be skewered either if that’s easier. The real magic is in the sauce (googly eyes).
We grilled our tempeh on the stovetop (using this grill pan) for a bit of caramelization before popping them into the oven to finish baking. The result is tempeh that’s tender, infused with flavor, and slightly browned on the edges.
Origins of Tempeh
Did you know tempeh originated in Central or East Java, Indonesia sometime around 1800? (source)
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s made of cooked, dehulled soybeans that are inoculated with mold, packed, and incubated until the beans are bound together by the mycelium.
Sounds like weird science, but this fermentation process makes nutrients more available to your body. Plus, tempeh is rich in prebiotics which have been known to promote gut health. It also boasts a whole range of other health benefits, including its iron and calcium content (source).
We hope you LOVE this tempeh! It’s:
Easy to make
& SO tasty
This would be delicious on its own with a little peanut sauce as an appetizer or atop our Vibrant Mango Salad with Peanut Sauce, noodle bowls, wraps, and more! If you’re into Thai-inspired fare, also be sure to check out our Noodle-Free Pad Thai, Thai Carrot Salad with Curried Cashews, Spring Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce, and Yellow Coconut Mango Curry!
More Satay Recipes
- Malaysian Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce by Poh Ling Yeow
- Thai Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce by Hot Thai Kitchen
- Indonesian Peanut Sauce by Rouxbe
- Three Indonesian Style Satays by Chef Yogi Artana
If you try this dish, let us know. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Peanut & Lemongrass Tempeh Satay
- 8 ounces tempeh (we like Tofurky brand // ensure gluten-free friendly if needed // ensure grain-free if needed // opt for soy-free if needed)
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce (or bird’s-eye chilies or red pepper flake to taste)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil (if avoiding oil, omit and add a bit more lime, coconut aminos, + maple syrup)
- 2 Tbsp salted creamy peanut butter (or almond, cashew, or sunflower butter)
- 6 Tbsp coconut aminos (or sub gluten-free tamari* (which contains soy))
- 3 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- 2 tsp fresh turmeric* (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 Pinch sea salt
- 1 stalk lemongrass (ends removed, chopped into thirds)
- To reduce bitterness in the tempeh, add to rimmed skillet or saucepan filled with 1 inch of water and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Steam tempeh (uncovered) for a total of 10-12 minutes, flipping once at the halfway point.
- Rinse, pat dry, and cut into bite-size pieces. I prefer slicing the tempeh in half lengthwise then cutting into triangles or rectangles. Keep in mind they need to be thick and large enough to add to skewers (if using). Set aside.
- Make marinade by adding all ingredients (chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, coconut aminos, lime juice, maple syrup, turmeric (optional), garlic, salt, and lemongrass) to a food processor. Blend until thoroughly combined.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, or coconut aminos or salt for saltiness. Don’t be shy – you want this extremely flavorful!
- Add the sliced tempeh to the marinade and toss to coat. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably 24 hours. I found that 24 hours infused the most flavor! While marinating, toss/stir occasionally to ensure even coating. It’s best if the tempeh is marinated in a bag or a shallow dish to ensure all pieces are submerged in the marinade.
- Once marinated, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Carefully add tempeh to grill/oven-safe skewers and arrange on your baking sheet. Reserve any leftover marinade to brush/serve with the tempeh once baked. (If skipping skewers, proceed to step 8 by placing tempeh directly on baking sheet unskewered.)
- Heat a grill or grill pan until very hot and brush surface with sesame or coconut oil to help prevent sticking. Once hot, add the skewers of tempeh and cook on both sides for about 4 minutes or until grill marks appear.
- Place skewers back on baking sheet. Drizzle them with a bit more coconut aminos and leftover marinade for extra flavor. Optional but recommended!
- Bake for 20-30 minutes at 375 F (190 C) or until deep golden brown, flipping once at the halfway point for even cooking. Remove from oven and brush/coat with any remaining marinade (see photo).
- This tempeh is delicious on its own or with leftover marinade or peanut sauce. It’s perfect for adding to Asian-inspired dishes like lettuce cups, spring rolls, salads, and noodle dishes! Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*Can sub fresh turmeric with 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.
* Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without serving ingredients and with the oil.
*Adapted from my Peanut Marinated Tempeh.