Fried Tempeh

by Mary on December 16, 2011

I love tempeh fried in long strips and sprinkled with tamari to turn it into the fatty, crunchy, salty vegan equivalent of bacon.  Steaming or baking tempeh also works if you want to avoid added oil, but frying is a good way to introduce tempeh into your menus and get your family hooked on it from the start. This recipe got my kids to love tempeh.

Tempeh has a nutty flavor and firm texture. It has lots of fiber (tofu has none) and more protein and less fat than tofu. You never have to worry about it falling apart like tofu can. However you decide to prepare it, make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Start by cutting the tempeh into 1/4″ strips:

tempeh cut into strips


Enjoy! It’s great on salads or in stir-fries.

Here’s a more detailed recipe if you want:

Fried Tempeh
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes crisp, nutty, salty strips of tempeh that are perfect in a salad or stir-fry.
Serves: 2
  • 8 oz. of soy tempeh
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Cut the tempeh into even, thin strips, about ¼" thick.
  2. Pour ¼ cup of olive oil into a large frying pan.
  3. Heat to the lowest temperature that will fry. I use a flame between medium and low.
  4. Place the tempeh strips such that each piece is fully contacting the surface of the pan.
  5. If your pan is too small for all the tempeh to fully contact it, fry the tempeh in two batches.
  6. Frying time will vary depending on how hot the oil is and how thin you sliced the tempeh: 3 minutes for the first side would be an average cook time.
  7. Watch the tempeh and check the underside to see whether it is becoming golden.
  8. Adjust the flame as needed.
  9. Once the tempeh is golden underneath, flip it and cook the second side for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Turn off heat, remove strips of tempeh.
  11. Blot tempeh between two towels to remove excess oil.
  12. Sprinkle with tamari.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy December 17, 2011 at 1:29 am

Where in the grocery store do you find tempeh? Is it usually in the refrigerated section?


mary December 17, 2011 at 1:55 am

It’s usually with the tofu and soy products like tofu dogs and soy sausage. That’s often in a dairy case in or near the produce department. That said, it could also be frozen and put in the freezer section. I’ve heard it could also be in the Asian/International Foods section, though I’ve never seen that.


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