Let me start off by saying that I have never been a tempeh lover. In fact, I’ve pretty much always been a tempeh hater. Give me tofu any day, but tempeh…yuck! No matter how many different ways it was served to me, I always found it to have a very strong, pungent (and sometimes bitter) flavor which was offputting, to say the least.
That is, until I discovered the secret to great tempeh: cut it THINLY, cover it with a really flavorful marinade, and roast the hell out of it! It’s simple, easy, and very quick to prepare. You don’t need to let it sit in the marinade, because the flavor bakes into it during the roasting process. You don’t need to simmer it first (a technique we were taught in cooking school that was supposed to get rid of the bitterness – it didn’t). And you don’t need to bread it, or deep fry it, or sing to it, or curse it, or bless it – you just need to cut it thinly, people! There is nothing more revolting (in my humble opinion) than big, thick, scalloped chunks of tempeh. So why is it so often served that way?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do encourage any tempeh skeptics out there to try this method of preparation, if you haven’t yet. These strips are savory, salty, and satisfying. They are great on their own as a high-protein snack, or fantastic on a salad, sandwich, or lettuce wrap. I like to keep them in a ziplock bag in the fridge and munch on them whenever I feel the need for something protein-packed and delicious.