My recipe for Thai Basil Tempeh and Firecracker Rice is the ultimate weeknight dinner. Save this recipe for the days you’re short of foodie inspiration. It’s perfect for using up a glut of leftovers in the fridge.
Not only is this aromatic wonder quick and easy to make, it’s also VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE and full of goodness from the veggies. As a result of using Tempeh, this recipe is super HIGH IN PROTEIN.
I like to use either cooked brown rice or jasmine rice for this. The important thing is that it’s COLD and not freshly-cooked rice. For example, leftover cooked rice is perfect for making great Firecracker Rice.
Firstly, whizz up loads of luscious, peppery Thai basil and fresh lemongrass. Next, add in the big umami player, for example soy sauce or tamari. A squeeze of lime juice brings all the flavours to life. Give your tempeh a nice little bath in this mixture and you’ll soon be on your way to vegan food paradise.
Originally from Indonesia, Tempeh is a type of fermented soy bean cake. Cooked, whole soy beans are fermented into a firm block. This can then be cubed or sliced for use in stir-fries, salads and curries.
People often use the terms “Tempeh” and “Tofu” interchangeably, but they couldn’t be any more different. Tofu is made by curdling soy milk, whereas Tempeh is made by fermenting whole soybeans. These soybeans are visible all over the surface of the tempeh which is pretty awesome to look at.
Tempeh has more protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins compared to tofu. It has a firmer texture and stronger flavour, due to the fermentation it undergoes. Plain, unmarinated Tempeh is low in fat and is less processed than tofu.
Since Tempeh is fermented, it balances the healthy bacteria in your gut. This can strengthen the immune system, keep you regular, and do wonders for your skin.
The block of Tempeh can then be sliced and marinated in the same way you cook with tofu. Grill it, bake it or barbecue it for best results.
People often use Tempeh to mimic bacon, chorizo, and other meat products. My favourite way is to simply marinate it in lots of Thai basil for this Thai Basil Tempeh & Firecracker Rice.
If Tempeh is unavailable where you live, use firm tofu. Press it to remove excess water and slice into oblong pieces or cube it.
Seitan can also be used in place of Tempeh.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Here’s what you need to do to have this delicious, healthy meal on the table in 30 minutes!
First, marinate the tempeh slices in the Thai basil and lemongrass paste. I use a high-powered blender to make the marinade but you can also use a pestle and mortar.
Pan fry or grill the Tempeh until golden on both sides. Set these aside.
Stir-fry the aromatics, add the veggies and cook until slightly tender but still a little crunchy. Add the lime juice, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce. Next, fold in the cooked rice and stir-fry for a few minutes.
Serve the rice with the cooked Tempeh on top.
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Psst, if you like this, you’ll LOVE this recipe for Easy Rendang Tofu & Broccoli Bowls.