You know what I think about sometimes?
What my husband would be eating in life had he never met me.
Definitely not tempeh, probably not tofu, and I’m not even convinced he would have any concrete sense of what kale is. Basically, he would be an entirely different person and his diet would probably be made up entirely of microwaved hot dogs and PB&J (on WHITE BREAD, no less).
It’s amazing how one small thing can change the entire trajectory of your life.
Maybe you’re also the kind of person who’s never tried tempeh, has no idea what tempeh is, and really thinks I’m speaking in tongues when I talk about tempeh.
That’s who my husband was. Now he eats tempeh and likes tempeh, and it’s mostly due to these Korean tempeh bowls.
They’re a play on Korean bulgogi bowls, but vegetarian (and almost vegan if you use egg- and dairy-free mayonnaise for the sriracha mayo) with tempeh used in place of the traditional beef strips. Tempeh on its own is generally bit bitter, but after marinading in the sweet and salty dressing used here, it loses that bitter edge, tenderizes, and takes on the flavors of the sauce. It’s served with a simple veggie stir fry atop a bed of brown rice and then drizzled with a spicy sriracha mayo that I honestly can’t help myself from making on a weekly basis because I want to pour it over everything.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 8 oz tempeh, cut into ¾-inch cubes
- ¼ cup tamari
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1½ tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1½ tsp grapeseed oil
- 2 large carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 2 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 12 oz broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 tsp tamari
- Cook the rice according to package directions. Set aside.
- Place the tempeh cubes in a shallow glass bowl in a single layer, if possible. Whisk together the tamari, vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a separate small bowl. Pour over the tempeh and stir so that it gets evenly coated. Cover and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat the grapeseed oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the tempeh cubes in the pan, leaving as much marinade as possible in the bowl. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate while you prepare the vegetables.
- Heat the oil in the same skillet that you used to cook the tempeh. Add the carrots, zucchini, and broccoli to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the broccoli and carrots are starting to become tender. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the reserved marinade from the tempeh. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the broccoli is crisp-tender.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Divide the rice evenly among four bowls. Top each with a quarter of the tempeh and vegetables. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and drizzle with the sriracha mayo. Serve warm.