This smoked tempeh with tenderstem broccoli and satay sauce is a delicious Southeast Asian-inspired meal. Surprisingly, I’ve rarely cooked with tempeh, but the smoked tempeh I used for this recipe is irresistible. This dish does use a couple of specific ingredients, such as the smoked tempeh, vegan Thai fish sauce and lime leaves, some of which you may have to get online rather than at your local supermarket. The combined flavour produced, however, by these slightly more elusive ingredients is second to none. The vegan Thai fish sauce can be bought either as an individual bottle or as a pack of 6. They have a 6-month shelf life, so you won’t need to use it quickly. The lime leaves can be bought frozen at most Chinese supermarkets and last a good long while in the freezer. If you’re not keen on the smoked tempeh, then smoked tofu will be a perfect substitute.
I make the satay sauce first, so that it can simply be added to the stir-fried tempeh and vegetables at the end of cooking. This makes the whole process run much more smoothly. You can use any peanut butter you like for the sauce. I actually have a big tub of peanut butter flavoured with dates, which I used for this, but you can use whatever you have lying around.
Smoked Tempeh with Tenderstem Broccoli and Satay Sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes.
For the Satay Sauce:
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 spring onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
4 heaped tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegan Thai fish sauce
200ml vegan cream
The juice of 1 lime
1 heaped tbsp hot madras curry powder (or other curry powder blend)
¼ tsp ground cumin
For the Stir-Fry:
3 tbsp sesame oil
1 x 200g block smoked tempeh, diced (I used Plant Power)
1 large yellow pepper, sliced
1 red onion, peeled, halved and then sliced into wedges
200g tenderstem broccoli, woody ends cut off
1 lemongrass stalk, cut in half lengthways and then chopped
5 lime leaves, thinly sliced and then chopped
2 packs noodles (I used Morrison’s Protein Noodles)
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
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First make the sauce by heating the sesame oil in a small saucepan and frying the spring onion for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and fry for another minute, then spoon in the peanut butter. Mix in and gently cook for 3 minutes, stirring pretty much constantly while it bubbles. Now add the rest of the sauce ingredients, mixing them through as you pour them in. Bring the sauce to the boil and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes, until it had thickened a little and reduced. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Now to make the stir-fry. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the smoked tempeh and cook for 3-4 minutes, on a medium-high heat, until it starts to brown. Now put in the sliced pepper and red onion and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Add the broccoli and put a lid on the pan (tin foil will work if you don’t have one). Steam for 5 minutes, so that the broccoli becomes tender.
Remove the lid and add the lemongrass and lime leaves. Fry the whole thing for 2 minutes or so before adding the satay sauce. If it seems a little thick you can add a touch of water to loosen it up, but not too much. Leave this to simmer for a couple of minutes while you heat up the noodles, either in a pan of boiling water or in a microwavable container with a drop of water.
Drain the noodles and serve them into two bowls, then pour the stir-fry over the noodles. Garnish with the spring onions and chilli slices and serve immediately.
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