This Teriyaki Tempeh will completely change your mind about tempeh! Crispy baked tempeh is tossed with a sweet and salty teriyaki sauce to create a delicious and flavorful vegan dinner.
Tempeh is often used as a meat replacement but is a healthy and easy way to add a boost of plant-based protein into your regular rotation.
This simple tempeh recipe is baked and then tossed in teriyaki sauce and placed back in the oven. This is essential if you want that flavorful caramelized coating.
Add it to Buddha bowls, stir-fries, or simply over white rice with spring onions. The serving options are endless!
What is Teriyaki Sauce?
The word teriyaki is actually a cooking method used in Japanese cuisine.
Traditional teriyaki sauce is made by mixing together soy sauce, sugar, and mirin together but over time has evolved and now some common ingredients like ginger, garlic, cornstarch, chili flakes, and vinegar are added.
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh originated in Indonesia and is made from fermented soybeans.
Soybeans are cooked and fermented then packed into a block.
If you've ever wondered about the white stuff that is formed between soybeans. Well, it's mold. But not the gross kind of mold you want to avoid. It's completely edible.
Tempeh is a great way to add probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based protein to your diet.
You can find tempeh in your local grocery store or in health food stores.
Learn more about tempeh in my Guide to Cooking Tempeh.
This vegan tempeh recipe doesn't require any special equipment but a steamer basket comes in handy.
Alternatively, place the tempeh in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 5 minutes.
This sticky teriyaki tempeh recipe is made with simple ingredients, is easy to make, and tastes incredible!
Not only is it a great weeknight dinner but it is perfect for meal prep!
This recipe is vegan and can be made gluten-free.
Tempeh: Whether you're vegan or not, tempeh is a wonderful addition to your diet. The block of tempeh is our main ingredient and is steamed, cubed, and then baked until golden.
Olive Oil: Tossing the tempeh in oil helps the seasonings stick and create a breading almost. You'll also want it to ensure you get a nice crisp texture. I often use olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
Seasonings: Keep it simple with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper because the teriyaki sauce will add a ton of flavor. I added nutritional yeast as well and this created a nice "breading".
Vegan Teriyaki Sauce: I used my easy homemade teriyaki sauce. It's ready in under 10 minutes and is the perfect amount of sweet, spicy, tangy, and salty. But you can use a store-bought bottle of teriyaki sauce as well.
How to Make This Recipe
The full recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Steam the block of tempeh for 10 minutes to remove some bitterness and soften it. Allow to cool. This is optional but I never skip it!
Cube the block tempeh into bite-sized cubes or use your hands to ripe the tempeh into cubes. I prefer the look of this technique but this will make it more delicate to work with so handle carefully. You can cut tempeh in numerous ways- choose which one you prefer!
Add the tempeh pieces to a bowl and toss in the olive oil. Sprinkle over the seasonings and toss to combine until evenly coated.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
While the tempeh is baking, make the Vegan Teriyaki Sauce. Alternatively, use store-bought.
The teriyaki sauce is made up of low-sodium tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and corn starch to thicken!
Simply mix teriyaki sauce ingredients together and allow to thicken over medium-high heat. Once thickened, you'll have over 1 cup of sticky teriyaki sauce!
Toss the baked tempeh in the sticky teriyaki sauce until lightly coated. Return to the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes.
Serve over jasmine rice, drizzle with extra sauce, and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Sometimes I add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil!
Substitutions & Additions
Make it gluten-free: Tempeh is typically gluten-free but some brands sneak grains in. Always read the ingredients to make sure. As for the teriyaki sauce, use tamari and it will be gluten-free.
This delicious teriyaki tempeh can be kept simple and served over white or brown rice and topped with sesame seeds and green onions. But it is versatile and can be used in so many different ways!
Edamame Cucumber Salad: This salad is crisp, fresh, and absolutely delicious when paired with this saucy tempeh recipe.
With Veggies: Serve teriyaki tempeh over a bed of jasmine rice, noodles, or cauliflower rice and add some sautéed vegetables like broccoli florets, carrots, and bell peppers.
Stir-Fry: Sauté teriyaki tempeh with a mix of stir-fried vegetables such as snap peas, bok choy, baby corn, and onions. Serve your teriyaki tempeh stir fry over jasmine rice or noodles for a quick and tasty dinner.
Tacos: Fill warm tortillas with teriyaki tempeh, shredded cabbage, diced pineapple, and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce. Top with some chopped green onions and cilantro.
Fried Rice: Use leftovers to make fried rice. Sauté leftover rice with diced vegetables, vegan Just Egg, and tempeh. Season with soy sauce and garnish with green onions.
Tips & Tricks
Steam the tempeh! A lot of people say they don't like tempeh because it's bitter but steaming it significantly reduces the bitterness so don't skip it.
Be cautious! Tempeh can be crumbly so handle it with care when you are breaking it into pieces with your hands. Alternatively, use a knife to cut it into cubes.
Have leftover sauce? You can use teriyaki sauce for more than just these vegan teriyaki cauliflower wings. Use as a marinade, drizzled over a plant-based protein, noodle dishes, stir fry, grain bowls, or as a dipping sauce with rice paper rolls.
Storage leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave, stovetop, or in the oven until hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tempeh is made of fermented soybeans.
Steaming before pan-frying or baking reduces the bitterness and makes it softer in texture. I don't recommend skipping this step!
Oftentimes, yes but some brands add grains so it's best to check the package ingredients.
Traditional teriyaki sauce is typically vegan-friendly. However, some variations of teriyaki sauce may contain additional ingredients that are not vegan, such as honey or fish sauce. It's always best to make it from scratch or check the ingredients.
Soy sauce isn’t naturally gluten-free so you’ll want to use tamari which is a gluten-free soy sauce.
More Tempeh Recipes
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Optional but recommended: Steam the block of tempeh for 10 minutes to remove some bitterness and soften it. Allow to cool. See note below.
- Cube the block tempeh into bite-sized cubes or use your hands to ripe the tempeh into cubes. I prefer the look of this technique but this will make it more delicate to work with so handle carefully.
- Add the tempeh to a bowl and toss in the olive oil. Sprinkle over the seasonings and toss to combine until evenly coated.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the tempeh is baking, make the Vegan Teriyaki Sauce. Alternatively, use store-bought.
- Toss the baked tempeh in teriyaki sauce until lightly coated. Return to the oven for an additional 7-10 minutes.
- Serve over jasmine rice, drizzle extra teriyaki sauce over the top, and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. I served mine with edamame cucumber salad.
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