Marinated Peanut Tempeh

I used not to like tempeh. Thanks to foolproof, easy recipes like these, I now enjoy tempeh. Check out that caramelization! Oof.

Tempeh – Origin

Tempeh was first produced in Indonesia, either Central Java or East Java, around 1800.

Tempeh is fermented soy made from dehulled, cooked soybeans. They are then inoculated, packed, and incubated until the mycelium binds the beans together.

This fermentation process is a bit strange, but it makes nutrients available to the body. Tempeh is also rich in prebiotics, which are known to improve gut health. The iron and calcium in tempeh are also great for your health.

Peanut Sauce – Origin

This recipe is a double Indonesian inspiration! In Indonesia, what Americans call peanut sauce is known as satay (or bumbu-kacang) because it’s often served along with the popular Indonesian dish satay, which is skewered and grilled meats.

This recipe is easy to prepare and only requires seven ingredients. That’s it!

Only the marinating requires some planning. I recommend a 2- to 24-hour period. The longer you leave it, the saucier and more flavorful the tempeh. So go on. Give it a try. Get out there and explore, child. Explore the city. See nature. Let your tempeh be.

Bake until golden brown and caramelized, then brush with the remaining marinade. So simple. So saucy. So essential.



  • 8 ounces of tempeh (if gluten-free, make sure it is friendly to celiac disease)


  • One bird’s-eye chili, fresh or dried (crushed/minced // or 1/4 tsp of red pepper flake can be substituted)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil (if you are avoiding oil, add more maple syrup, soy sauce, and lime).
  • Salted creamy peanut butter (or almond, sun butter, cashew or almond)
  • Use two tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce (or tamari if you don’t have GF).
  • 2 Tbsp of lime juice
  • Maple syrup 3 Tbsp


  • Add the tempeh to a rimmed pan or skillet filled with 12 inches of water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Steam tempeh in a steamer for 10-12 minutes. Flip it once halfway through. Rinse, pat dry, and then cut into bite-sized pieces. I like to cut the tempeh into small triangles after slicing it in half. The smaller the details are, the better the tempeh will absorb the marinade. Set aside.
  • Add the chili, sesame, peanut butter, and maple syrup to the marinade. Mix well. Add more crushed chili if you want it hotter, maple syrup if you like sweetness, lime for acidity, or tamari if you prefer saltiness. You want it to be extremely flavorful, so don’t be afraid!
  • Then, add the tempeh slices to the marinade and coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours, but preferably for 24 hours. The 24-hour marinating time gave me the best flavor. To ensure an even coating, stir/toss the marinated meats periodically. (Pro tip: Drizzle a little more maple syrup or tamari just before baking to add extra flavor. (Optional but recommended!)
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190 °C) once it is marinated. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Reserve any marinade left to coat/brush the tempeh after baking.
  • Bake for 22-30 min or until golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the oven and brush/coat any remaining marinade.
  • It is great for Asian dishes such as spring rolls and salads. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Fresh is best.

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