Tempeh with Broccoli and Cashews
I admit it – I deep-fry!
Only a few things – but they are so much more delicious when deep-fried and there’s just no way around it!
The secret about deep frying: if you use good quality oil, the temperature is correct and it is drained properly, whatever it is you are deep-frying will not absorb much oil.
Tempeh is one of those things I deep-fry. It can have a funky aftertaste when not prepared well. Most people who think they don’t like tempeh find it absolutely delicious when prepared as explained in this recipe.
If you are gluten free make sure to get the appropriate tempeh.
Most multigrain tempeh is not gluten free but the other types are without gluten.
If you are going to the trouble of deep-frying you may want to double
or even triple the amount of tempeh and freeze the extra for later use.
You can freeze either before or after you cook the tempeh in the sauce.
2 – 8 oz packages organic tempeh cut into 6 or 8 rectangles or triangles
2 quarts organic sunflower oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic – optional
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger – optional
1 cup shoyu or gluten free tamari
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 – 1 cup rice, agave, coconut or maple syrup
1/2 – 1 cup water
1 bunch broccoli
1/2 cup cashews – either raw or salt free toasted
Deep-frying the tempeh
You will need:
a deep pot or Dutch oven
wire rack that fits on the cookie sheet
Heat the oil in the pot to 350°
Using tongs carefully put 8 or so pieces of tempeh in the oil. Turn regularly. Fry until golden brown.
Remove the tempeh from the oil and drain on the wire rack placed on the cookie sheet.
Repeat until all the tempeh is fried.
What to do with the oil
If you have done only a single recipe the oil can be saved.
However, if you have doubled or tripled the recipe the oil should be discarded or even
better taken to a recycling center that will turn it into bio-fuel.
Don’t put the oil down the drain!
To save the oil allow it to cool completely. Put a funnel in the top of the bottle the oil came in and pour the oil back in the bottle. Cap the bottle and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Be conscientious – there are many facilities that take used vegetable oil to turn into biofuel. Check to see if there is something in your area.
Cook the tempeh in the sauce
While the tempeh is frying combine all the sauce ingredients. Reserve 1/2 cup.
Put the remaining sauce into a large skillet.
Add the tempeh and simmer until most of the sauce is gone – about 30 – 45 minutes.
Turn tempeh regularly while cooking so it becomes evenly seasoned.
Cut and blanch the broccoli
While the tempeh is simmering prep the broccoli.
Blanch it just before the tempeh is finished simmering in the sauce so
all the ingredients will be hot when served.
I always use the stems when I cook broccoli.
Cut the stem off from the crown and pare away the tough outer skin.
Then cut the stem into 1/4″ thick slices.
Cut the crown into florets.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a 4 quart pot. Salt is not needed.
Put the cut broccoli into the boiling water. As soon as the water comes back to a boil remove the broccoli with a spider strainer, slotted spoon or oil skimmer and drain in a colander. Make sure to sit the colander in a bowl or you’ll have water all over the place!
Save the water for soup stock. It’s full of vitamin C and other nutrients.
Finish the dish
Toss the tempeh. broccoli and cashews together.
Serve with the reserved sauce on the side.
If you like, warm the sauce before serving.
I generally don’t pour the sauce over the dish since it will make everything muddy looking and a bit unappetizing.
Oh – another thing about tempeh……I was once lucky enough to have freshly made tempeh and boy was it good! Nothing at all like the mass produced tempeh we have come to know. Sweet, delicious and needed almost no seasoning at all.
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