In my very busy mind I had a great story to tell you about my love of tempeh. It was so eloquently put together but the reality is I now can't put thought to paper. So here is a much briefer account of my tempeh love affair.
When I was first introduced to tempeh I didn't quite understand the attraction. I persevered but the chemistry just wasn't there and I gave up even trying to like it. Some years later I traveled to the island of Bali where i fell madly in love with their locally made tempeh, originating in Java. I had truly met tempeh at its best.
On returning to Australia I tried again to enjoy the insipid looking packets of tempeh, which failed to spark the same light as it had in Bali. Then I went to a birthday party and my friend Prem gave me a packet of tempeh he had proudly made himself. I was once again in tempeh heaven. Prem provided me with magnificent tempeh for six months and then went traveling. A gap was there again until Sarah started her incredible business, Byron Bay Tempeh. Sarah's tempeh is made from fava beans and chickpeas, totally organic.
For those of you who are not familiar with tempeh it is usually made out of soy beans and is fermented and when packaged fresh is a brilliant source of vitamin B12 and contains natural probiotics. It is a wonderful vegetarian protein, high in fibre and very low in saturated fat. In the first mouthful I tried of the Byron Bay tempeh I was hooked lined and well sunk. I gobbled down the whole packet. For some people tempeh is an acquired taste though. Initially they may not like it but after the second try they usually end up being as in love with it as I am. Having said this, the recipe I share with you below will definitely have everyone loving tempeh. I have made these tasty tempeh cakes for people who say they aren't tempeh fans - I don't tell them what it is until they've indulged in their third, fourth or even sixth tempeh cake and they are always shocked when I tell them what it is.
These tempeh cakes are great served with the mango salsa recipe I posted in my last blog.
Balinese style tempeh cakes
1 packet tempeh, crumbled
2/3 cup besan flour
1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 5 tbsp water
6 kaffir lime leaves cut very very finely
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp gluten free tamari
1/4 tsp tumeric
salt to taste
1 chili finely chopped (optional)
splash of soy, rice, almond or cows milk
rice bran or sunflower oil
Mix all of the above ingredients except the oil together and then heat a splash or two of oil in a frying pan. Place spoonfulls of the tempeh mixture in the frying pan. Turn the tempeh cake over after a few minutes or when brown. Press on the cake with the spatula so the mixture cooks through. Cook for a further two minutes or until browned to your liking.