Tempeh Breakfast Hash-Up

Tempeh Breakfast Hash-Up

Tempeh is an old Indonesian invention made from partially cooked soybeans fermented with a Rhizopus fungal culture that binds the beans into firm, chewy cakes or patties. Soybeans are by themselves a very detrimental source of proteins and nutrition due to a very high content of enzyme inhibitors and phytic acids that block the absorption of essential minerals and cause potential intestinal problems — however, thorough fermentation in the production of tempeh, miso and soy sauce removes both the inhibitors and phytates. The process of precipitation used to make tofu or bean curds, on the other hand, removes only some of the inhibitors and hardly any of the phytates, so these soy foods should be generally avoided. Through fermentation, however, tempeh becomes not only an excellent source of proteins but one of the best sources of vitamin B12 you can find — but only as long as it has been properly innoculated with the Rhizopus culture, so make sure to check the label. Look for it frozen or refrigerated in 8 or 12 oz packages in natural food stores.

Apart from the benefits of good quality tempeh, it is a wonderfully versatile food to cook with that can be fried, baked or boiled and can be combined with any kind of seasoning or vegetable. This fried breakfast hash, adapted from a suggestion in Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café, is a simple and very satisfying way to start your day.

Tempeh Breakfast Hash-UpTempeh Breakfast Hash-Up
Recipe by
Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Published on May 1, 2007

Simple, nutritious and filling zesty breakfast hash made with tempeh

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Ingredients:
  • 12 oz (340 g) tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 fresh chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
Instructions:
  • Chop the tempeh into small cubes and soak in water with a little sea salt for ten minutes before cooking.

  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, wait a few seconds, and then swirl around the pan. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 or 6 minutes or until all the surfaces are golden brown.

  • Remove from heat and mash the tempeh in a bowl, then return to the frying pan and continue stirring for several minutes until the hash is well-browned throughout. Sprinkle in the balsamic vinegar and let it sizzle and reduce on contact for a few seconds before stirring into the mixture. Continue stirring for a couple of more minutes before removing from heat and setting aside in a bowl.

  • Wipe the frying pan with a paper towel and return to the heat, adding the other tablespoon of olive oil and tossing in the onions a few seconds later. Stir the onions for a few minutes until they begin to brown, then add the chilies and garlic and sauté for a couple of more minutes until the chilies turn soft.

  • Pour in the hashed tempeh and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally and sprinkling in the sea salt, until everything is heated through. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

  • Serve hot or warm with a seasoning of fresh ground black pepper. Reheat leftovers in a frying pan over medium-low heat with a little olive oil added.

  • Optional: throw in chopped vegetables like spinach, broccoli, green or red peppers, etc. at the same time that the chilies and garlic is added.

Makes 4 servings

5 comments:

Reg said...

In the name of Set Lisa, what concoction have you wrought upon society?

Lisa said...

Slap to those who do not appreciate the goodness of my kitchen.

Emily said...

Hi, I am a fellow Londoner. So glad I found your blog, it's great :). I was just wondering where in London one can actually find tempeh?

Thanks!

Lisa said...

Hi Emily;

Thanks for your comments here. There are a few places you can buy tempeh in London. I would recommend Grains and Beans, located at 268 Piccadilly Street. Also, Quarter Master Food, on 176 Wortley Road. You might even be able to purchase it at larger grocery stores.

Emily said...

Excellent. I will definitely check those places out. As for large grocery stores, most workers have no idea what I am talking about when I ask for it and I'm not precisely sure what section it would be found in.

Thanks again :)