This vegan recipe features tempeh – an Indonesian plant-based protein made from fermented soybeans. Unlike tofu, tempeh is made from the whole bean and contains more nutrients, fibre and iron than it’s highly processed counterpart. While most soy products have a bad reputation in the functional medicine space, I firmly believe that tempeh is the ultimate vegan health food and should be put in a separate category.
Tempeh is nutrient-dense organic soy product with a high amount of protein (around 20g / serving) and calcium. A recently study from Malaysia determined that the calcium from this plant-based source is equally well absorbed as calcium from cow’s milk, without all the nasty hormones and antibiotics. It may also decrease cholesterol levels, oxidative stress and appetite based on additional research. All this sounds great but the best part of Tempeh, in my humble opinion, is that it contains prebiotics to improve digestive health and reduce inflammation in the GI system, all while tasting pretty great.
This is one of those plant-based recipes that you can serve to vegans and omnivores alike. The spicy meaty tempeh crumbles taste a lot like meat and pair beautifully with a tangy lemony sauce made from tahini. Top with tons of fresh herbs and fermented hot sauce (gochujang is our favourite) to make a satisfying, gut-loving, vegan dinner.
Tempeh Lettuce Wraps with Creamy Tahini Dressing
These tempeh lettuce cups are the perfect spring lunch made with crispy spicy tempeh covered in creamy tahini and fresh herbs.
- 1 pack (240g) organic tempeh
- 2 tbs tamari / coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tbs ACV
- 1 tbs runny honey or cane sugar
- 1 tbsp of your favourite hot sauce (I love gochujang or sriracha)
- 3 tbs sesame oil + 2 additional tbs oil for cooking
Creamy Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup runny tahini
- Juice from 2 lemons
- Zest from 1/2 lemon
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Butter Lettuce
- Fresh herbs (Thai basil, mint and chives are especially nice)
- Cucumber, cut into small cubes
- Thinly sliced radish
- Sesame seeds
Mix the vinegar, tamari / coconut aminos or soy sauce, hot sauce, sweetener of choice and oil in a bowl and whisk until smooth (add a little warm water if you need to make it slightly thinner / runnier). Crumble the tempeh (we like to the use the back of a large wooden spoon for this). Add 2 tbs reserved oil to a frying pan and cook tempeh, stirring often, until crispy (around 6 - 10 minutes). Cover the tempeh with the hot sauce mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before adding to lettuce wraps.
Make the sauce by combining all the tahini sauce ingredients in a blender bullet or food processor and puree until smooth.Assembly: Serve the warm tempeh in butter lettuce wraps topped with sesame seeds, extra veggies, fresh herbs and tahini sauce.