Jun 9, 2015

lemon-braised tempeh salad

Braising tempeh (simmering slowly in a flavorful broth) can impart some great qualities to the tempeh, and the longer it cooks, the more flavor it imparts. The truth is, many of us don't have that kind of time, especially for lunch.

Since the tempeh is only lightly flavored (because of the quick braising time) the dressing comes to the rescue, in fact utilizing some of the braising liquid in the body of the sauce.

Cooking the potatoes just until tender is an easy feat with the addition of a steamer basket right over the braising tempeh - a trick that I love to employ since it adds a bit of the liquid's flavor without submerging the entire potato into the liquid itself, and because it saves on pots, water and energy.

I chose frisse salad, but arugula or watercress would make a delightful substitution; just keep it light, no kale or collards. The raw thinly sliced squash fits right into the spring-summer theme and a few slices of scallions and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper round things out nicely.

Lemon-braised Tempeh Salad
Serves 4

½ lemon, cut into ¼-inch slices
¼ onion, sliced
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons capers
1 teaspoon dulse flakes
8 ounces tempeh, cut into ¼-inch slices on a deep bias
Water, as needed
2 medium red potatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
Sea salt

6 tablespoons reserved cooking broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon vegan mayo
2 pinches natural sugar
2 small garlic cloves, very finely minced

1 head frisee
½ cup parsley leaves
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 small summer squash, cut into thin slices
Black pepper

1. Tempeh: Place the lemon and onion on the bottom of a medium pan. Add the horseradish, capers and dulse. Layer the tempeh slices over the lemon and onion. Add just enough water to cover. Place a steamer basket over the tempeh slices and add the potato slices. Season with salt. Cover, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove the steamer basket and the tempeh. Drain off 6 tablespoons of the cooking broth and discard the rest of the broth ingredients.  
2. Dressing: Combine the broth, lemon, oil, mayo, sugar, garlic and season with salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine well. Set aside.
3. Salad: Combine the frisee, parsley, scallions and squash in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Assembly: Add the salad mix to a bowl, top with potatoes, tempeh and dressing. Serve with lots of fresh ground black pepper.

© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


  1. What a gorgeous salad! I haven't actually ever braised tempeh, but it sounds like a great way to really inject flavour.

    1. It sure is, Kimmy! It's probably the only way to get flavor actually into the tempeh as it is so dense an not porous at all.


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