Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce

Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce

Although I have always enjoyed Thai cuisine, it has only been recently that I started to get passionate about it in my own kitchen. Armed with some wonderful Thai cookbooks, and of course the internet, I have recently made hot and sour mushroom soup, homemade massaman curry paste, and a massaman curry.

These tempeh patties are wonderfully nourishing and filling, and the earthy and nutty taste of the tempeh is delicious seasoned with Thai ingredients and dipped into a fragrant spicy chili sauce.

Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce

Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce
Recipe by
Cuisine: Thai
Published on April 7, 2010

Spicy Thai tempeh patties served with a delicious red chili dipping sauce

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Tempeh patties:
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 fresh red chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • generous handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 12 oz (340 g) tempeh, chopped
  • juice from 2 limes (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • dash of cayenne
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unbleached white or spelt flour
  • 1 large egg
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • peanut oil for frying
Dipping sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • pinch of sea salt
  • In a food processor, combine the lemongrass, garlic, spring onions, shallots, chilies, ginger, parsley, tempeh, lime juice, cayenne, sugar, flour, egg and salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste.

  • Shape the dough into small (3-inch) patties, adding a bit of flour as necessary to keep them holding together.

  • Heat 1/4-inch of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the tempeh patties and fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and fry for another few minutes until evenly browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.

  • To make the sauce, combine the balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, spring onions, sugar, red chilies, parsley and sea salt in a small bowl. Serve with the warm tempeh patties, garnished with a bit more parsley.

Makes about 10 3-inch patties

Thai Tempeh Patties with a Red Chili Dipping Sauce

More tempeh recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Oseng Oseng Tempe
Baked Tempeh & Japonica Rice Casserole
Tempeh-Miso Breakfast Patties
Tempeh Cutlets


Sarah S. said...


Unknown said...

lovely and too tempting...

CarolAnn said...

Lisa, you are putting forth a theory as iron clad fact. There is no consensus among doctors and nutritionists about the dangers or the advantages of soy - at this point, both sides have evidence they are waving around loudly. Please have enough responsibility to plainly state that this is your position, these are your reasons for having that position, but that they should review all the available data and then reach their own conclusions.

Soma said...

I have never used tempeh. These looks so appetizing Lisa. and the sauce is something which i would love to have around all the time.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Mmmmmm, these got my attention right away. I want one or two or three or four :)

Cynthia said...

Want some!

Usha said...

Delightful, I would love to try these!

Dorothy Rimson said...

Give me some

Ricki said...

Thai cuisine is one of my all-time favorite kinds of food. . . love this recipe! I don't make tempeh enough. Great reason to dig it out of the freezer!

Niki Turner said...

Lovely, now I know what to make for dinner tonight ;-) these look simple yet tasty, thanks Lisa

bedroom dressers said...

lovely and too tempting! have to try this one!

MapMaster said...


I wouldn't begrudge anyone their own opinions about the benefits/dangers of unfermented soy or the degree of controversy on the issue. However, I do not feel that a food blogger like Lisa is obligated to put disclaimers on information she gives on the subject any more than she should suggest that a recipe is delicious. And certainly not feel any more obligated than many doctors and nutritionists who themselves proffer advice without acknowledging one side or another of this or other nutritional debates.

I would not suggest that all doctors or nutritionists are so one-sided or rigid on matters such as these, but I can attest from personal experience their recommendations for certain items like grains, animal fats, processed food, etc. are frequently dubious at best. Given a lack of consistency and sometimes common sense on the subject of food, I'm not entirely sure that deference to professional opinion -- even a range of professional opinion -- should be considered adequate or even very informative.

In fact, the lack of consensus among doctors and nutritionists on topics like soy, cholesterol, animal fats, etc. is significant. When consensus is perpetually absent or continually shifting on a subject, it means either that the subject is too complex for reduction to a single point of agreement, or that experts are starting from incomplete or incorrect premises. In the case of nutrition, I must conclude the latter case since a healthy diet really ought not to be a very complicated matter. After all, people have been living healthy lives for centuries before nutritional science came along. Where experts dither, I myself depend primarily on traditional wisdoms of people before the advent of nutritional science. When choosing scientific claims in posts on a food blog, I think Lisa is perfectly justified in using those that support traditional methods.

This is not to suggest that nutritional science is a complete waste of time, however. By studying chemical and physical reactions and effects, scientists can at least approximate some general truths about food. The temptation, of course, is to downplay uncertainty and a necessarily incomplete understanding of the way complex variables interact. It is when scientists turn to advocacy that they imply certainty that they cannot hold.

In the case of soybeans, the Chinese people who first cultivated them knew to ferment them long before receiving the benefits of nutritional science. It is clear from reading Lisa's posts that she does not advocate avoiding soy products entirely, but to limit consumption to products that have been properly fermented (tamari, miso and tempeh made through traditional methods). If it is not certain that soy ingredients have been fermented, it would seem to be a good idea to err on the side of caution and avoid those products.

For the record, I am a scientist who studies complex natural systems myself. I do not subscribe to the more fantastic conspiracy theories out there surrounding soy, nor do I give much credence to the more extravagant claims about its deleterious effects.

eatme_delicious said...

Oh I'd love to have these for dinner or a snack or anytime! Looking forward to seeing what other Thai foods you post about.