Total time: 90 minutes (1-hour marinade) || Active time: 20 minutes
A few things happened this week that had me searing up this succulent tempeh with a bright, fresh, tangy, garlicky, herby sauce.
One was a long conversation at Omaha Vegan Drinks with our friend Hector, who is from Argentina, the land of chimichurri. I would love to visit someday, and he was telling me about some of the traditional foods. (PS They are verrry meat-centric.)
And then the next day, I heard this fabulous story on NPR about a tempeh cooperative in Jakarta, another place on my travel wish-list: “Journey To Java’s ‘Tempeh Village’: Where Soybean Cakes Are Born.” You can read or listen here.
It got me thinking about traditional vegan foods and food history and food future. And how vegan cuisine plays with traditions from all over the world bringing together every corner of our little planet. And so here we are, with Tempeh Chimichurri.
One of my favorite quotes from Hendeko, the tempeh coop manager: “My world revolves around tempeh, I have tempeh every day. Even though there are other dishes, a meal just wouldn’t feel the same without tempeh.”
I sliced the tempeh thin here so that it would soak up plenty of marinade. Simply slice tempeh into four slabs, then cut each slab in half, like a sandwich. See?
And then I reserved plenty of chimichurri for pouring over the finished dish, so that you get all those bright, fresh flavors. Saute up some asparagus for a few minutes, before cooking the tempeh, and you can serve with a baked potato as well.
And there you have it, a trip to Indonesia and Argentina, all in one.
~If you wanna’ just make the chimichurri, that’s cool, too! It makes a great sauce for black beans, kale and quinoa.
4 cloves garlic
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup veg broth
For the additional marinade:
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
Olive oil spray
Sauteed or steamed veggies
Baked potato or rice
When tempeh is steamed, pour half a cup of chimichurri into a measuring cup and add the soy sauce. (You want the soy sauce in the marinade, but not the finished chimichurri, it would be too aggressive and salty.) Reserve the rest of the chumichurri for pouring over the cooked tempeh.
Place warm tempeh on a plate and pour marinade over. Rub the marinade into the tempeh. Let sit for an hour, flipping once, and rubbing in the marinade again.
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Spray pan with a thin layer of oil. Place tempeh in a single layer and cook for 4 minutes or so, until lightly browned. Spray with more oil, and flip tempeh, cooking for 3 more minutes. Now add the remaining from the plate marinade and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, flipping occasionally.
Serve tempeh over veggies, drizzled with more fresh chimichurri.
I just made, and ate, this. OMG, it was fabulous! I’ve been vegan for 20 years and recently had to go gluten-free. Being gluten-free and vegan is ten times more challenging than just being vegan. This recipe is a keeper. I even plan on making if for non-vegan company.
I tried this recipe for dinner tonight and it is fantastic. Thanks for such a delicious recipe.
Tastes soooo good
Just had the tempeh chimichurri with rice and kale salad
Thank you. You have tasteful and easy recipes. =))
I feel the same way about tempeh.
This is seriously the best tempeh recipe I’ve ever had/made and I’ve been to Indonesia! This is going in my regular rotation – YUM! and thanks, as always for being such a brilliant chef 🙂
I made this last weekend and it really, really rocked my world. Really. It was like listening to Crucifix for the first time! Inspirational and full of AWESOME! Thank you.
LOVED this recipe! Thank you! I used a little mint and basil as well because I had some on hand and not the full amount of cilantro and parsley. Delicious and very easy! Will definitely recommend this recipe to others!
THIS BLOG IS RAD! thank you
I always put my chimichurri over sauteed portobellos, but this looks good, too.
I am trying to turn my eating lifestyle around, I am only 17 years old and already want to live a better lifestyle. I feel so unhealthy, and all your recipes sound delish. But how can I even get started ? When everyone in my family looooves meat and fatty foods. Helpp. I’m writing down your recipes but don’t know how to buy the things I need.
Ace! I used lemon instead of vinegar and it turned out well… apart from being FAR FAR too salty. I assume Tamari is lower in salt than the soy I used. Maybe recipe notes should tell your chefs this 😎
I’m another gal never quite sold on tempeh (meh so far), but LOVE it in this dish! Also used 2c of cilantro as I had no parsley.
Everything is so green and pretty (rice doused in the green sauce, tender-crisp charred asparagus). Omni husband is moaning. Garlicky, spicy, fresh, soul-satisfying.
Delicious. Omni bf and pal both commented on the amazing fresh zingy-ness of the sauce:) Thank you Isa.
Is there a gluten free substitute for red wine viniegar? Thanks!
I found the red wine vinegar overpowering. I’m not sure if this is how chimichurri usually tastes because it’s the first time I’ve made it, but I’d definitely reduce that ingredient next time. I’m always looking for a good tempeh recipe so please keep them coming!
Just made this and it was so good! Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking and I scrapped my plate of marinade into my pot to cook the tempeh causing my dish to be a little to salty. Otherwise a fabulous dish. I added mashed polenta on the side. Yum. Definitely will make it again.
Made this tonight- it was flat out awesome! My first time cooking tempeh and making chimichurri, and my fiancé and I loved it! Thank you!
Cooking this now and tripled the recipe (for 6 of us) … with 2.25 cups veg broth and 3 cups each of cilantro and parsley … the sauce still seems really really watery. Perhaps “loosely packed” means more like “packed”? I added the rest of the bunch of cilantro and parsley to the “side sauce” to try to thicken it up like the photo. Tastes wonderful, though … but any suggestions?
Thanks for this, Isa! I’ve made it quite a few times over the past 2 years or so, and it always hits the spot!
This was Devine! Loved all the flavors of the garlic, cilantro and the parsley with the tempeh! Don’t want to lose this recipe. Which cookbook is this recipe in?
First, I love your site and this recipe for chimichuri is great. I have been using hydroponics from a company called http://www.planetponics.com that allows me to grow the herbs, vegetables & grains for some of your recipes. I really enjoyed the value and idea this company was striving for. Thought I would share it for others. You can grow all year and in any climate. It grows food such as herbs, vegetables, flowers and grains. And there is no soil, no mess, self-watering hydroponics. Thanks again and keep the recipes coming!
Ok- so I know this is an older blog but I have been making this recipe for 3 years now and it never gets old. SOOOOO good!
I made this for my four-year-old daughter and some girlfriends on Valentine’s Day with some asparagus and smashed garlic potatoes. Marinated the tempeh overnight. It was fabulous. I want to put chimichurri on ALL THE THINGS. Thank you!
This recipe is simply the best!! The taste of the chimi churi sauce is so divine! All of my friends and even mon anti-vegan boyfriend loved it!
Can it be made oil free?
Just made this for the first time. Why did I wait so long? So yummy. Even my Omni spouse loved it.
My daughter makes barbecued flank steak marinated in Chimichurri then served with chimichurri. I send her my tempeh and she makes it for me at her house. She marinates it and then we have the extra served with the tempeh! So delicious!