Stir-Fried Tempeh with Peppers and Onions

This nutritious ingredient is all about possibilities!

You’ll always find a package of tempeh and one of tofu in my refrigerator. They are stable for quite a while, and make for a really quick weeknight meal when somehow the day has gotten away from the someone who shops and going to the market ended up last on the list. A little insurance that a meal is about 20 minutes away with no need to leave the house!

A little fermentation, a lot of flavor

Tempeh is a fermented soy or other bean product that is pressed into blocks. It is dense, nutty flavored, and nutritious, and a most versatile ingredient. You can stir-fry with it, grill it, bake it, crumble it, or grate it up and use as a ground meat substitute. It loves added flavors and spices, and a whole range of possibilities resides in that little package.

A vegetarian staple

This ancient food originated in java, and is quite nutritious. It is often a staple in vegetarian diets. High in fiber, protein, prebiotics for gut health, and is a great source of iron, calcium, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. I certainly didn’t grow up with this food, but was really happy to find it as a young mother on a tight budget!

What have you got on hand?

This dish is all about looking in the pantry and refrigerator and pulling out what is there. It doesn’t matter if you use onions or leeks, sweet red frying peppers or little orange mini peppers, white button mushrooms or oyster. I used smoked paprika to jazz this up a bit, and it really made a lovely dish. 

Travel the world on a Wednesday night

However, you can also lean towards the Italian side with oregano, parsley, and thyme, or add some grated ginger, toasted sesame oil, and scallions and more to the East. Give it a Mexian flair with cumin and chili powder, and stuff the leftovers in tortillas the next day.

It’s all up to you!

Stir-Fried Tempeh with Peppers and Onions

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 8 oz. (227 g.) tempeh of choice, cubed
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika, divided
  • 8 oz. (227 g.) mushrooms of choice, sliced
  • 1 large onion of choice, sliced
  • 1 large pepper of choice, sliced
  • ½ cup white wine you’d like to drink
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon style mustard
  • 1 large handful of greens of choice (arugula, or watercress, or baby spinach…)

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium high and add the oil. Dump in the tempeh and turn the pieces over in a single layer. Once browned, sprinkle with the garlic and half the paprika, turn and brown on the other side. Remove to a covered plate.

Add a bit more oil to the wok and add the mushrooms, onions, and pepper. Add salt and pepper to your taste, and the rest of the paprika. Sauté until soft and just starting to brown on the edges, the add the wine and Dijon. 

Continue cooking for a few minutes until the liquid is reduced, then add the greens of choice, sprinkle with a bit more salt, cover, and remove from the heat.

Serve this on a bed of rice or noodles, again, your starch of choice!

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37 Comments Add yours

  1. Suzassippi says:

    Looks and sounds wonderful!

  2. Ronit says:

    I can’t say that my experience with Tempeh was very enjoyable. I think it was due to the type I’ve tried, that felt like it was overly fermented. But your post made me think that I need to give it another try, as it looks so tasty! 🙂

    1. Thanks Ronit! There’s a to of different blends out there. I’m fond of one that uses barley, it’s quite tasty.

      1. Ronit says:

        Interesting! I’ll look for it.

  3. Love stir-fry dishes and your recipe looks delicious.

  4. Chef Mimi says:

    I just couldn’t wrap my head around tempeh. Love tofu, but….

    1. it’s funny, my husband doesn’t care for tofu, but he likes tempeh!

  5. What a great idea to cook with tempeh – I’m currently trying to do an anti-inflammatory diet and I think tempeh would be a great addition to my menu, thanks for the recipe!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Nigella! I hope you like this, and it’s really good for the body. Add a little extra heat such as cayenne and you are all set!

  6. Christy B says:

    Fast to make and sounds delicious!!

    1. Thanks Christy! It really is quick to put together.

  7. Eha says:

    As others have said – living in Australia or really Australasia as far as everyday cooking i concerned – there always seems to be tofu, especially firm tofu in the fridge and tempeh not quite so often ! Do love it for a change and live on stirfries, so shall try your recipe soonest . . .

    1. Wonderful! I hope you enjoy it!
      I’m thinking I might need some tofu this week!

  8. Look yummy!

    1. Thank you! It was most satisfying.

  9. Gail says:

    Very tempting, that’s for sure. 😋🍃

    1. Thank you! It is a versatile food!

  10. Bernadette says:

    Dorothy, I have never eaten tempeh. Does it have the same consistency of tofu? Is it high in sodium?

    1. Tempeh is much more dense than tofu. I think that is why my husband prefers it to tofu. It usually low in sodium.
      It has a mild flavor, and, like tofu, is best when you add flavorful ingredients to it! A blank canvass so to speak.

  11. Nice one! Just about any ingredient will work. Easy peasy! Hey, peas!

  12. NativeNM says:

    I’m curious if the Tempeh absorbs the flavors of the surrounding veggies, herbs or sauce? Very appetizing!

    1. It does absorb flavor, but not nearly as much as tofu does; it isn’t as good a sponge!

  13. Jenna says:

    I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve never tried tempeh or tofu…your versatility in the kitchen is so admirable, I need to get braver!

    1. You have nothing to lose!

  14. terrie gura says:

    This looks like a great, healthy meal! Right about now, I’m already tired of the rich foods that always accompany the holiday season. I never understood the difference between tofu (which I don’t love) and tempeh but I want to branch out and try the tempeh now! Maybe at a restaurant before I try experimenting.

    1. They are very different, with absolutely no similarity in texture. My husband doesn’t like the spongy consistency of tofu, even when pressed and baked, but he’ll eat it. He likes the texture of tempeh better. It is dense, in fact you don’t want to cut the pieces too large for that reason.

  15. What a beautiful and versatile recipe 😋

  16. nancyc says:

    This dish sounds delicious! And it’s so healthy! I like tofu, but have never had tempeh–I’ll need to try it!

    1. The texture and flavor are much different, but I like them both!

  17. Serving tempeh or tofu is like filing for divorce, but this does look nice 😉

    1. Ah, it’s not that bad Stefan! There’s a couple of tofu dishes I actually crave, so that says something for the humble little ingredient!

  18. Anonymous says:

    This looks delicious! Your recipe will most likely also work with seitan!

    1. Oh yes, it would be perfect with seitan!

  19. Americaoncoffee says:

    I can imagine the flavor! Thank you so much for the informational tips and for your overall expertise. 😋🍲🍨🍽

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. I’ll save you some next time!

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