Curried Tempeh

Mmm, curry powder. The quintessential spice blend that fills much of Indian cooking lends such an astounding aroma to the kitchen. Aside from its riveting taste, sometimes I choose to cook with curry powder purely for its fragrance. The best is homemade curry powder, with cardamom, coriander, cumin, and a variety of other fresh seeds, ground up, and then sealed in your own jar. It becomes your own fairy dust, capable of working its magic on so many different ingredients. Homemade curry powder truly does make a significant difference in terms of flavor, but if you’re quite the busy lady (fella’), store-bought will certainly do.

Here, I use it to season one of my favorite vegetarian proteins—tempeh. Tempeh has such a dense, meaty texture, which of course I love. Plus, its nutrition stats are astounding—20 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 10% DV of potassium, up to 15% DV of iron—and with an ingredient list of five items or less, this is one of those hearty no-guilt ingredients I should be stocking my kitchen with more often.

However, tempeh’s truly not a very tasty ingredient when kept plain. It works best with a marinade of some sort, which is when I call my favorite fragrance of curry powder into the kitchen. I also added a few other ingredients, like ginger for some spice, mirin for a very subtle sweet touch, and cilantro and peppers for a splash of color. Pair it with brown rice, and you’ve got yourself one powerhouse meal.

Curried Tempeh

Yield: Serves 4


  • -8 oz tempeh, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • -1/3 cup minced onion
  • -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1 lime, juiced
  • -2 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • -1 heaping Tbsp. minced ginger (about 1-inch piece)
  • -3 Tbsp. soy sauce-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • -1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into 1-inch strips
  • -2 Tbsp. mirin-Cilantro, handful, minced
  • -1 cup brown rice


  1. Combine first 8 ingredients together, coating the tempeh. Let marinade for at least one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup brown rice with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 45-60 minutes, until rice is tender.
  3. Once tempeh is finished marinading, heat large skillet over medium-high and lightly coat bottom with olive oil. Add bell pepper, and saute 3-4 minutes, just before pepper softens. Season with salt and pepper. Add tempeh, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to noticeably brown. Add mirin. Remove from heat. Toss in cilantro. Serve atop rice.

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  • Reply
    January 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Looks great as well. I adore making my own curry powder – I never EVER use shop bought it simply isn’t the same. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take very long to do!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Kind of confused, how does anything marinate in just a few tablespoons of liquid?

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      January 2, 2013 at 10:20 am

      The waiting time is meant to let the tempeh soak in some of the juices before it hits the pan.

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