Everyone needs a good, classic stir fry recipe in their back pocket for quick lunches and dinners, and I think this should be the one.
It comes together in just 30 minutes, uses up leftover grains and vegetables from the week, is rich in protein and fiber, and delivers big flavor. What’s not to love? Let me show you how easy it is to get this dish on the table.
It all starts with marinating the tempeh.
What is Tempeh?
Did you know tempeh originated in Indonesia in the early 1800s? (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).
Cube your tempeh, mix with your peanut-coconut aminos (or tamari) glaze, and set aside. While that’s happening you’ll prep your other ingredients.
Once marinated, sauté your tempeh on both sides until golden brown and delicious. Then you’ll add your veggies and grains and stir-fry until crispy and browned before adding your tempeh back to the pan to warm. That’s it!
Origin of Stir-Fries
Stir frying is a quintessential Chinese cooking technique of cooking ingredients over high heat, stirring constantly. In Chinese, “chao” means stir fry.
Stir frying is traditionally done in a wok, which is a frying pan that dates back to the Chinese Han dynasty that distributes heat evenly due to its concave shape and sloping sides. Learn more about the history of stir-fry here.
We hope you LOVE this stir fry! It’s:
Quick & easy to make
Protein- & fiber-rich
& So delicious
This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you want something hearty and nutritious on the table fast. I also love making it for lunch when I want something fast and filling.
If you’re into stir fries, be sure to check out our Cauliflower Rice Stir-Fry, Quinoa “Fried Rice,” Almond Butter Tofu Stir-Fry, Tofu that Tastes Good Stir-Fry, and the fan favorite General Tso’s Tofu Stir-Fry!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
30-Minute Tempeh Stir-Fry
- 3-4 tsp chili garlic sauce (adjust to preferred spice level)
- 4 Tbsp salted creamy peanut butter (or almond, cashew, or sunflower butter)
- 4 tsp sesame oil (if avoiding oil, sub water)
- 1/3 cup coconut aminos (or sub slightly lesser amount of tamari to taste as it can be more pungent in flavor)
- 4 tsp lime juice
- 3 tsp freshly grated ginger (or sub 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
- 1 tsp maple syrup (plus more to taste)
- 3-4 Tbsp water
- 8 ounces tempeh (chopped into large, bite-size squares // if GF, ensure gluten-free friendly)
- 4 tsp sesame oil (or sub double this amount in water)
- 2/3 cup chopped green onion
- 4 cups mixed chopped vegetables (we used red bell pepper, broccoli, carrots & kale)
- 4 tsp coconut aminos (or tamari)
- 3 cups leftover cooked quinoa,* brown rice,* or uncooked cauliflower rice*
- Prepare glaze by adding chili garlic sauce, peanut butter, sesame oil, coconut aminos (or tamari), lime juice, fresh ginger, and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add water until a thin, pourable sauce is formed. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more chili garlic sauce for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, or coconut aminos for saltiness. Don’t be shy — you want this quite flavorful.
- Add the chopped tempeh to the glaze and toss to coat. Then cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (or cover and refrigerate up to 24-48 hours). Prep your other vegetables and toppings at this time.
- Heat a large rimmed cast iron or metal skillet over medium heat. Once hot, spoon in the tempeh, reserving most of the glaze in the bowl (set aside for later). Sauté for 3-4 minutes, turning on each side until browned. Then remove from pan and set aside.
- To the still-hot skillet add sesame oil, green onion, and mixed vegetables (if adding greens, wait to add until step 6). Season with a bit of coconut aminos (or tamari) and stir to coat. Cover to cook and steam the vegetables, stirring occasionally until slightly golden brown and tender (about 4-5 minutes). If they stick to the pan, add 1-2 tsp of water to loosen.
- Once the vegetables are nearly done, add your greens and grains and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through and slightly browned. Then add in the cooked tempeh and the rest of the glaze and stir to coat. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until everything is hot and well incorporated.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days. If freezing, store in the freezer up to 1 month. Let thaw before reheating in a hot skillet with a little sesame oil.