Recipe: Grilled Teriyaki Tempeh brushed with Asian Pesto
One of our top 50 recipes from The Most Remarkable Vegan Recipe Contest.
Grilled Teriyaki Tempeh brushed with Asian Pesto served over Baby Spinach Salad
with a Citrus Vinaigrette a.k.a. ‘Dean’s Tempting Teriyaki Tempeh Salad’
Dean Boswell, Lancaster CA
5 servings 35 minutes prep 25 minutes cook
2 packages tempeh cut into thirds
3 Tbl. turbinado sugar plus 3 tsp.
1 cup low sodium soy sauce plus 11/2 Tbl.
1 cup mirin plus 2 Tbl. (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
3 1/8 in. slices peeled fresh ginger plus 1/4 tsp. grated
2 medium peeled cloves garlic bruised plus 5 medium peeled cloves
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns plus 1/4 tsp. ground and more to taste
3/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1/8 tsp. salt plus another 1/8 tsp. and more to taste
If desired 1 medium Serrano chili deseeded
2 loosely packed cups fresh mint
2 loosely packed cups fresh cilantro plus 1/4 cup chopped for garnish
3 loosely packed cups fresh basil
(All herbs cut from stems as best possible)
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice plus 1 tsp. lime zest (you’ll need about 3 or 4 limes)
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
21/2 Tbl. canola oil (or other light colored oil) plus 3 Tbl.
1 6 oz. bag baby spinach
1 small red onion halved vertically then thinly sliced (half rings)
1 medium red bell pepper and
1 medium orange bell pepper both cut into 1/2 in. strips
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Half of a peeled medium cucumber sliced vertically then into 1/2 in. slices (half circles)
3/4 cup diced fresh ripe mango
3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries
3 or 4 stalks green onion diced (green parts only) for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
1. Mix the 3 Tbs. sugar 1 cup soy sauce 1 cup mirin ginger slices bruised garlic and half of the
whole peppercorns in a medium nonst ick frying pan. Place the tempeh in the marinade and
simmer over low heat. After about 5 minutes carefully flip the tempeh and continue simmering
for another 5 minutes. Carefully remove t he t empeh and place on a dish. Allow the teriyaki
marinade to simmer unt il thickened about 10 minutes and then remove from heat.
2. Prepare the pesto by adding the peanuts 5 cloves of garlic 1/8 tsp. salt and the remaining
whole peppercorns as well as the chili (if desired) to a medium sized food processor. Pulse 3 or 4
times and then add t hen herbs and lime zest. Cover and process until mixture is smooth stopping
to scrape the sides as necessary. Then while processing slowly add the 1 Tbs. sesame oil and 2
½ Tbs. canola oil. Set aside for the grilling of the tempeh.
Preheat the grill (if using coals). If using gas you can wait unt il the salad is prepared before
starting up the grill.
4. Next in a large bowl mix the lime juice grated ginger the remaining mirin soy sauce and sugar
as well as the ground pepper and salt. Slowly whisk in the remaining oil. Next add the onion bell
peppers sprouts and cucumber. Toss well cover and refrigerate. After grilling the tempeh toss the
salad with the spinach.
5. Peel the mango with a vegetable peeler to remove skin and then cut vertically on both sides to
remove the “cheeks”. Turn 90 degrees and cut vertically on remaining sides (around the seed of
course). Next cut the mango into long thin strips (about 1/2 in. thick) and then dice. Remove the
green tops of the strawberries and then cut in half vertically. Then cut into 1/2 in. strips and
finally dice. Next dice the green onion and chop the remaining cilantro. Refrigerate (the fruit
onion and cilantro in the same container).
6. You will want the gr ill to be at medium/ high heat. When it is ready place the tempeh on the
grill (not directly in the center) after brushing the sides that will be facing down with the teriyaki
sauce and be sure to reserve some o f the sauce for the other sides. Be very careful not to burn the
tempeh. The tempeh will darken that’s ok. Quickly brush the sides of the tempeh (the sides
facing up) with the teriyaki sauce. After about 3 minutes flip the tempeh. Carefully spread half of
the pesto onto the sides of the t empeh (the sides facing up). (You may need to quickly remove
from the grill to do this) Allow them to grill for another 2 3 minutes before flipping and
brushing the sides now facing up with the remaining pesto. After about 2 minutes flip one last
time. About 2 minutes later remove t he t empeh from the grill. Toss salad with spinach. Cut the
tempeh squares diagonally.
Serve immediately over the salad. Top with the mango strawberries green onion remaining
cilantro and sesame seeds. A drizzle of the teriyaki sauce and some more ground black pepper
wouldn’t hurt either! Enjoy!