Tempeh, a food item made with fermented soybeans, is packed with nutrients and probiotics, so, as a vegetarian, I am supposed to like it… I guess… Well, this lifelong vegetarian could give you a long list of vegetables I don’t particularly care for, dislike or even detest. Many of them I eat anyway, every now and then, because they are “good for me.” I am challenged by the hope that they can somehow be made delicious if only they are properly prepared. So I keep trying… But there is a point when such efforts become the very definition of insanity and one may as well accept the fact that there are some things from which apple butter can never be made.
Now, I have only tried tempeh two or three times, so it’s much too soon to relegate it to the never again pile. I can’t say that I found it distasteful flavor-wise, but for me the texture of the whole beans was a bit off-putting. I’m not sure why. It’s not that I don’t like a nutty crunch. Maybe it’s not crunchy enough, or perhaps it was an inappropriate texture for what I was attempting to do. I can’t put my finger on it.
Anyway, I gave tempeh another shot. This kind was made with soybeans and brown rice. I decided to use it along with mushrooms as a filling with which to stuff poblano peppers.
The poblano peppers were charred with a torch, dropped into a paper sack to sweat, rinsed under running water and slit open to remove the seeds.
The filling was made by sautéing onions and garlic, then adding tempeh chopped quite small, followed by diced mushrooms.
For its flavor and salt content I seasoned the filling with mushroom ketchup and mushroom powder. I also added powdered cumin, coriander and black pepper.
The stuffed poblano peppers were laid in a puddle of tomato sauce and more sauce was poured on top.
The stuffed peppers were baked under a lid at 350ºF with fan until softened.
I wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed with tempeh prepared in this way. It was alright, but didn’t quite make it onto my favorites list.
There was some of the tempeh and mushroom filling leftover that wouldn’t fit into the peppers. I used it in a frittata this morning with eggs, leftover brown rice and shredded Cotija cheese.
Now, this really was good!
…And even better with a dab of ketchup and a spot of homemade Thai green chili paste.
I’m not giving up on tempeh just yet. In fact, it is already on the shopping list. Perhaps some day it will make it onto the favorites list.