Tag Archives: Tempeh

Tempeh Buffalo Wings

This is the first recipe I made with Frank’s Red Hot, and I’ve gone through bottles of the stuff on this recipe alone. It tastes like junk food without being particularly unhealthy, and is a fun way to prepare tempeh.

Tempeh Wings

I got this recipe from Clean Green Simple, which says you can also make this with cauliflower. I find that tempeh works well, and I like to have a protein (or high-lysine food, if you want to get technical) with every meal, so I haven’t tried the cauliflower variety.

I use Rhizocali Tempeh, an Oakland-made tempeh that can be found at Rainbow. It’s distributed frozen, and keeps indefinitely in the freezer. I buy a bunch of it at a time, so that I always have protein on hand.

I’m using use Frank’s Red Hot original sauce, which contains just peppers, vinegar, salt and garlic powder. They also make a buffalo wing sauce which might also be vegan, but it has “natural butter type flavor” as an ingredient, so who knows what that means.

I make this recipe with less sauce and oil than the Clean Green Simple version. If you’re serving it in appetizer portions, this may not matter, but I usually eat this as an entree, split between two people. I make this pretty frequently, so reducing the oil makes it more tenable as a frequent entree.

Preparation

Cut the tempeh into roughly french fry shaped pieces.

tempeh wings - 01

Coat the tempeh pieces in the batter, and put the battered pieces onto a non-stick baking sheet. I’ve been using a Silpat non-stick baking mat for these, although an oiled pan may also work. Let excess batter drip off so that it doesn’t form a puddle under the tempeh on the baking sheet.

tempeh wings - 02

I find I have to go back and touch up the parts of the tempeh that I was holding, since they are otherwise missing batter.

tempeh wings - 03

Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, then brush them with hot sauce and oil, and bake for another 5 minutes. When brushing, I try to move them and get some of the hot sauce under them, so that the bottom isn’t too dry.

tempeh wings - 05

Tempeh, baked and glazed. These are a bit overcooked. :)

Brush the tempeh with the remaining sauce, and serve immediately.

tempeh wings - 07

Tempeh wings with steamed broccoli and pastina.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • One 8 oz package of tempeh.

Batter:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Frank’s red hot

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp Frank’s red hot
  • 1.5 tbsp oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the tempeh into french fry sized pieces. Mix the batter together, dip the tempeh pieces to coat, and put them on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Mix the hotsauce and oil together. Brush the tempeh lightly with sauce, and bake for another 5 minutes.

Coat the tempeh with the remaining sauce, and serve immediately.

Nutrition

By my count, the recipe totals 843 calories (and 48g protein). If split between two people, that’d be 421 calories (and 24g protein) per person. With broccoli and rice, it’s about 670 calories (and 31g protein). If you’re dieting, you may want to reduce the rice to 1/2 cup for a total of 562 calories.

My point with all of this is that junk food has its place, even in calorie-restricted diets. This is truly excellent junk food, and isn’t even particularly unhealthy. It just seems unhealthy, which is a quality to be respected and admired in reasonably healthy food.

Vegans don’t have enough junk food entrees. I do my part by making this almost every week.

Related work

Prior research into vegan food made with Frank’s Red Hot includes:

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Tempeh manis

Tempeh manis is a somewhat sweet preparation of tempeh (fermented soybeans), and is one of my favorite dishes from a trip to Indonesia a year ago. I’d been looking for a good tempeh manis recipe, until an Indonesian coworker pointed my girlfriend and I at the recipe on The Little Teochew.

The recipe is essentially the following:

  • Fry 16oz of tempeh, and set it aside.
    I pan fry, rather than submerging the tempeh in oil.
  • Then pan fry a few shallots sliced thinly, garlic, and a sliced red chili in oil.
    I didn’t have shallots this time, so I used half an onion. I also seeded the chili. It wasn’t spicy at all, so maybe unseeded would be fine.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and 1.5 tbsp sugar to the pan, and cook until it starts to caramelize.
    The amount of water doesn’t really matter, since it’ll cook off until the right amount of water is left. I tried to dissolve the sugar in the water before adding it.
  • Add the tempeh back in, and drizzle 1 tbsp kecap manis (see below) evenly throughout.
    You’ll want to add the tempeh before the sauce gets too thick, otherwise it won’t spread onto the tempeh very evenly. If it’s too thick, just add some water, and try again.
Tempeh manis

Tempeh manis, with red rice and roasted asparagus.

There was one hard to find ingredient in there: kecap manis (alternatively, “kicap manis”, or “Indonesian Sweet Soy Sauce”). The nearest Asian grocery store to me, Duc Loi in SF’s Mission district, didn’t have it, despite an aisle of sauces from various Asian cuisines. I tried a few places in the Richmond, until striking gold at New May Wah, which has a large Indonesian section, including an entire row of kecap manis sauces.

The turning point: every bottle pictured is kicap manis.

The turning point: every bottle pictured is kecap manis.

Kicap manis closeup

I’m not entirely clear on what this stuff is. The ingredients are listed as: “Soybean, sugar, salt, NA benzoate preservatives and selected spices”. I’d describe the taste as being similar to molasses with a hint of soy sauce. It’s pretty tasty though, and gives the tempeh a nice color.

I’m also told that some people see the use of kecap manis as cheating, so assumedly there is a longhand version of this recipe that produces something similar without using kecap manis. For now I’m pretty content to stick with this version.

This dish is on the sweet side for a main, and is often served as an appetizer in Indonesia. We use it as a protein from time to time, but if you’re sensitive to sweet foods you may want to go easy on the sugar, or have smaller portions as a snack.

Update: The Great Dorset Vegetable Experiment has a recipe for making Kicap Manis! Fascinating. If we continue to make this, we’ll have to try that sometime. Although for the time being I have a ton of the store-bought stuff.