GINGERED TEMPEH STEW AND GRAVY
c. Jane Quincannon Stanchich
Ginger warms us in the winter. When it flavors this rich tempeh, enhanced by a bit of apple juice and kudzu gravy, this stew is perfect for a high protein, sustaining winter bowl or entree. Real winter fuel. Tempeh, (tem-pay) derived from nutritious soy, offers high quantities of phytoestrogens that balance hormones levels, lower cholesterol, and prevent heart disorders. Tempeh is satisfying and delicious when cooked well in this easy, savory recipe.
- 1 8-ounce package soy tempeh, unseasoned (Lite Life Soy is my favorite!)
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons tamari
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger juice
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 2 Teaspoons untoasted sesame oil
Cut tempeh into halves; cut again to make four pieces; then once more into eights.
Mix apple juice, water, tamari, ginger, mustard in a 2 cup measuring cup. Mix well/whisk. This creates the liquid mixture.
Heat a skillet on medium low. Add oil. Place tempeh in the oil and lightly brown on both sides. About 4 minutes per side. Watch closely. Do not burn!
When both sides of the tempeh are medium-light brown, pour on the liquid mixture and bring to a low boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Ready to eat! Garnish with parsley or scallions.
GRAVY RECIPE: You can make a gravy with the remaining cooking liquid. Remove tempeh from pan and set on plate. Place one tablespoon kudzu or arrowroot in a cup with cool water to cover; stir until dissolved. Pour dissolved kudzu or arrowroot into the tempeh cooking liquid and stir/whisk constantly until it is thick and clear. If too thick, drizzle in cool water and stir until gravy is no longer a white color. Taste and adjust flavor with tamari or ginger. Replace tempeh in skillet and gently fold into the hot gravy.
MAKE A TEMPEH BOWL: In a large soup bowl: Make a base of cooked, warm brown rice or quinoa. Add three squares of the cooked tempeh. Arrange some steamed carrots, celery, leek or onion around the bowl. Ladle on some hot gravy. Add a spoon of steamed greens of your choice, perhaps toasted sesame seeds. Garnish with sprigs of parsley or strips of scallions. A touch of sauerkraut…..WOW! So rich, satisfying, warming, and soothing. Real winter fuel.
OTHER IDEAS FOR TEMPEH: I often cook onions, mushrooms, and carrots with the tempeh as it simmers in the broth, as in old fashioned stews. Cooked tempeh is terrific sliced and added to stir fry dishes. It is also great in a sandwich with mustard and sauerkraut! Or try it as an appetizer cut into small cubes, served with a touch of mustard or wasabi and pierced with cocktail toothpicks. Drizzle with fresh orange juice! YUM! Thank you Macrobiotic Cooking!
NOTE: Quick cooked, pan fried tempeh with tamari is often prepared, but can be dry, hard, and not as digestible and moist as this recipe. A little cooking liquid and simmering goes a long way.
NOTE #2: KUZU is a miracle food in macrobiotic cooking. This white powder is very alkaline, balancing acidic conditions, relieving acid stomach, diarrhea, and flu symptoms. Kudzu added to water, soup, or gravy provides quiet, sustaining strength to the body and even the mind. It is reported to alleviate alcoholism as well.