Tempeh and I have a rocky relationship. And by that I mean I keep trying to like it and I just don’t.
But (big but) things have changed recently! That’s good news, guys! I finally found a way to enjoy it to the point that I have to stop myself from eating too much of it (the true sign of a food you enjoy).
I’ve tried steaming tempeh before and I’ve tried mixing it into things, but I was never quite happy with the texture or flavor. Then I asked my pal Laura for some tips and she revealed that her go-to method was sautéing.
It was definitely on my list of things to try, but I’m so glad she suggested it. The key – as I’ve now learned – is to steam your tempeh for 10-15 minutes (in a steamer basket) and then sautée and season. And the seasoning, in this case, is a smoky, 5-ingredient red chipotle sauce.
Origin of Tempeh
Fun fact: 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).
It may not look like much, but the taste and texture of the tempeh is spot on!
Plus, this recipe requires just 9 basic ingredients and comes together in the time it takes to prepare your burrito bowl fixings.
I hope you all LOVE these burrito bowls! They’re:
& Crazy delicious
This would make a great weeknight meal when you’re craving something hearty and satisfying yet healthy. The toppings are extremely customizable. I went with black beans, red cabbage, and cilantro, but you can’t go wrong with what’s in season. Also, serve with chips. Always chips.
If you try this recipe let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We love seeing what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
Smoky Tempeh Burrito Bowls
RICE + BEANS
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice + water for cooking
- 1 15-ounce can black beans (if unsalted, add salt)
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 10 ounces tempeh (ensure gluten-free if GF* // cubed)
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 large white onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 cloves yield ~1 Tbsp)
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce*
- 1 whole chipotle in adobo sauce (canned // plus 1 Tbsp sauce // adjust according to preferred spice)
FOR SERVING optional
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Red cabbage, thinly sliced
- Hot sauce
- If serving with rice, start using this method from Saveur – my absolute favorite for fluffy (not sticky at all) brown rice! It takes 45 minutes, so start it now to be ready for serving.
- Next steam tempeh by adding 1 inch of water to a large saucepan and bringing to a simmer. Then insert steamer basket and top with tempeh (still whole or cut into large chunks). Cover and steam for 15 minutes – this will soften the texture slightly and most importantly, draw out some of the bitterness. Once steamed, cube and set aside.
- Make sauce by heating a medium cast iron or metal skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and slightly browned – 3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add tomato sauce, chipotle pepper, and adobo sauce and stir. Heat until bubbly, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer sauce to a blender and blend on high for a completely smooth sauce. For a chunkier sauce, pulse and leave some texture (I prefer mine smooth). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding a pinch of salt for more flavor or adobo sauce for heat.
- Transfer sauce back to skillet and heat over low, stirring occasionally, to thicken the sauce and deepen the flavors.
- Next add black beans to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once bubbling, reduce heat, add cumin and a pinch of sea salt, stir, and reduce heat to low/simmer (to keep warm until serving). For a refried bean texture, mash with the back of a wooden spoon until thick and paste-like (I left mine whole).
- Heat another large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and the cubed (steamed) tempeh and crisp and brown on all sides – about 6-8 minutes total. Then add to the red sauce and stir gently to coat.
- Cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld, then remove lid and continue simmering on very low temperature until serving.
- To serve, divide the rice, beans, tempeh, and vegetables of choice between 2-3 serving bowls. Garnish with lime and fresh cilantro (optional).
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
*Sauce adapted from my Tofu Chilaquiles.