Thai-Style Tempeh Cutlets

Tempeh Cutlets

As I've noted before, tempeh is a traditional Indonesian fermented soybean product that's not only an excellent source of protein and vitamin B12 for vegetarians but also a very malleable, versatile and easy-to-use staple for cooking. But as with most soy products made in the West, the product you see in stores is not always made in processes that deliver the benefits that they're supposed to. In the case of tempeh, modern hygienic standards actually inhibit the growth of beneficial cultures that otherwise remove through fermentation the enzyme inhibitors and phytates that block the absorption of essential minerals and proteins in soybeans. Make sure to find tempeh that's been properly inoculated with rhizopus culture — if you live in Ontario, I recommend the tempeh products from the Noble Bean.

I had just bought a package of tempeh the other week when I happened to come across a recipe for tempeh cutlets at Chef in You that looked too tempting to ignore. And I'm glad I didn't. After I added a few coriander and fennel seeds to the recipe and brushed the cutlets with a little tamari sauce to boot, I found them to be absolutely delicious and a great way to serve up a light lunch or supper. Although very tasty just on their own, they'd also go great with your favorite sauce or chutney, as Dhivya advises, so I made up a simple roasted toor dal and coconut chutney to pour over them. Mmm…

Thai-Style Tempeh CutletsThai-Style Tempeh Cutlets
Recipe by
Adapted from Chef in You
Cuisine: Thai
Published on October 15, 2007

Delicious and healthy tempeh burgers with Thai seasonings

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeƱos or green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • juice of 1 small lemon (1 1/2 tablespoons)
  • 12 oz (340 g) tempeh, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • tamari (soy) sauce for brushing
  • In a food processor or blender, grind the lemongrass, garlic, green onions, onion, jalapeƱos or green chilies, ginger, coriander leaves and seeds, fennel seeds, and lemon juice into a coarse paste. Add the tempeh and grate until combined.

  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the flour, sugar, salt and black pepper to taste.

  • Pour 1/4-inch of olive oil into a large non-stick or cast-iron frying pan and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, rub a little oil into your hands and shape the tempeh mixture into patties. When the oil is hot, place the patties in the pan and fry until the bottoms are golden-brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Before turning, brush a little tamari sauce on each patty and wait a minute. Fry the other side, brushing a little more tamari sauce on each patty, for 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Remove to a plate and drain the excess oil with paper towel. Serve hot with sweet chili sauce, salsa or your favorite chutney.

Makes 10 3-inch hamburger-size patties

Thai-Style Tempeh Cutlets


Anonymous said...

Hi - where in London do you get your tempeh?


Lisa said...


You can obtain top quality tempeh at Grains and Beans located at 268 Piccadilly Street.

I highly recommend you procure the offerings available to you there before you march off to Loblaws.

Natalie said...

So, just to clarify, Grains and Beans carries the Noble Bean tempeh?

Lisa said...


Yes, Grains and Beans carries the Noble Bean tempeh and many other good things besides.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I'll try them. I've never been in there.

Lisa said...

You are welcome. I buy everything that I can from Grains and Beans. I highly recommend the store.