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.
Any tips for the anti-cilantro followers?
Use all parsley.
It looks amazingly green and yummy in the main picture! I haven’t eaten tempeh in way too long…
I heard that story the other morning, too! I thought it was extra awesome because I was making the tempeh and white bean sausage patties for dinner (from VWAV). Meant to be! This recipe looks so bright and flavorful, can’t wait to try it.
Oh Isa, you did it again. Cooking blues good-bye, hello new and interesting food I have never had but so can’t wait to try. Am wondering if the kids will like this, will let you know (there’s 4 of them:)
Pretty!! God, I love tempeh. I want to marry a tempeh co-op farmer.
What a brilliant sauce! I presume it would go nicely on tofu too?
we are so energetically connected! I just made chimichurri this morning for my meat-eating roomies and was wondering what to have it with for myself! (kind of kidding about the energetic connection, but lovely synchronicity!)
I dig on chimichurri so much.
I love tempeh! But I’ve never cooked it myself. How to make tempeh at home? I will try this recipe. This recipe looks really good.
¡Perfecto! ¡Qué rico!
This looks delicious. And a great way to use up cilantro leftover from the black bean & quinoa soup. 🙂 Can chimichurri be frozen? I’ve had success with freezing cilantro pesto.
I heard that story on NPR also. Loved the focus on tempeh. This looks fabulous and will be on my menu soon!
If I were to marinate this overnight, would that be a terrible idea?
That’d be great!
Tempeh is indeed the greatest. I love the idea of punching it up with a spicy chimichurri!
I wanted to prepare this but got confused between the “marinade,” the “rest of the marinade,” and the “finished chimichurri” at the stage where you add the soy. Where-to do you add the soy and which parts of the marinade are for the soaking and the cooking?
You marinade in 1/2 a cup of the sauce and 1 tablespoon tamari and you cook with that as well. All the reserved is for topping once done.
Made it the other day, let Tempeh marinade over night. Delicious!!!
Do you have a preferred brand of tempeh from the grocery? I’ve had mixed results with the tempeh absorbing marinades. This dish looks fabulous!
Well, there was a brand I loved in Portland and I can’t think of what it was called. It was square and in a blue package. But now that I’m in Omaha I stick with Lightlife, which is the brand I’ve been using for the past 20 years or so.
Made this last night and it was amazing! The sauce was great over everything. We had some leftovers and tucked them into a sandwich today, also amazing!
nice way to mix vegan cuisine and latin cuisine.
This recipe is genius. What a wonderful way to flavor tempeh! Just made it with a side of smashed rutabaga/carrot/turnips, and it was divine. Thanks for the great idea!
This was our first vegan dinner ever and it was incredible! We’re taking baby steps to a kinder lifestyle, but with awesome recipes like these, I don’t think it’ll be a tough transition! Delicious, filling, and guilt-free (in every sense of the word)!
Just made. Delicious! Found myself researching how to steam asparagus (interested in time & technique) Anyway, asparagus came out a little raw but I can’t complain about raw veggies!
Sauce was AMAZING! I used three grain tempeh – Soooooo good. Clean plates here 🙂
Thank you for the recipe 🙂
Even leftovers cooked a few minutes in the oven is AMAZING! 😉
Where do I get tempeh and what is it?
this looks wonderful, I am looking forward to eating it.
I am new to tempeh, but excited to try this recipe. We use chimichurri all the time on lentil burgers and love it. Especially good if you have fresh oregano.
I’ve been craving chimichurri. I bought the ingredients before reading this post, not knowing how i was going to use it. This seals it. I know where to get some awesome tempeh. Thanks
I want to eat this Chimichurri sauce with a meal every day for the rest of my life. I used 2 cups cilantro because I hate parsley and it was heavenly! I want to try adding some fresh lemon juice next time.
Never really got into tempeh until I tried this recipe. F-ing amazing! Making it for the second time in a week.
Welcome to the fold!
Made this last night with white beans, rice, and asparagus. Taste was excellent. But I don’t know what I did wrong, the sauce was very watery.
Delicious! Another winning, creative recipe from the PPK. The sauce is INCREDIBLE, make a double or triple recipe of it, it’s that good. Enjoy!
I think I’m going to make this with sweet potato fries tonight. Really good looking!
Made this a few nights ago. Yum, yum! Thank you Isa!
I tried this recipe Thursday. Huge success! My boyfriend said it was the best thing I have ever made for him ( I cook all the time and we have been dating 3 years- so that says a lot).
Yummers! Beautiful as written, & I also doubled the sauce & used it as a marinade for baked tofu, s/w lemon & almond couscous.. Can’t think of anything this wouldn’t be tasty with 🙂
I’ve never eaten chimichurri before – it looks awesomely vibrant & sparkly tasting; nom. Time to break out the tempeh!
This chimichurri is SO GOOOOD. Thanks! About to dig in.
isa, you light up my life
My family and I have always eaten chimichurri with yucca fries, I am SO EXCITED to try this with the tempeh!!!!
I made this as taco filling. It was great. Next time I won’t add so much veg broth – I like the sauce more pesto-y than liquidy. But I will definitely make again! Thanks for such a light chimichurri recipe! Most I have seen call for lots of oil.
I made this tonight with a zucchini onion and kale stir fry and some quinoa. I also mashed half an avocado with the remaining chimichurri, wich gave the sauce a really nice creamy texture. Omg! so delicious!!! Thanks for the recipe!
Just made it and am eating it right now! Soooo yummy!!!
I want to try this, but grill the tempeh. Do you think that would work out?
This was great – such a interesting fresh, herby flavour. The marinade really soaked into the tempeh well, and it was perfect with veggies (I sneaked in some mash potato too…nom).