Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fried Tempeh Fingers

So, once again, I cooked dinner and forgot to take photos during the preparation. Yay.  But it's so easy, I don't think you all will need any.

I'll start from the very beginning.  What is tempeh?  In lamens terms : it's fermented soybeans and formed into a cake like form.

I know, I know...sounds gross.  Get over it.  It's similar to a very firm vegetarian burger patty. Tempeh's fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and strong flavor. Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine; some consider it to be a meat analogue.  Perfect and EASY for me to cook for my family who half are vegetarians and half are meatavores.

I got my tempeh from HEB and one cake is roughly $3.00.  I got fed our family of four...with a few 'chicken fingers' left over.

First take out the tempeh from the wrapping and put it in a steamer and steam for about 15 minutes.  Steamer basket is the way I went. This allows the tempeh to soften and absorb all the seasonings. At this point you can choose to marinate the tempeh for extra flavor, but honestly I don't think it needed it.

I took the tempeh out of the steamer and sliced it into 'fingers' for frying.  I made a batter of flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic salt, season all, parsley can add practically anything...then added milk and stirred.

Dip the tempeh in the batter and fry in a skillet. When they're nice and browned, removed and put on a paper towel to drain.

I made gravy and served with mac and cheese and fresh peas.

This is the cell pic I took last night.  The gravy was served in a bowl for dipping.  Like I said, SO didn't stop to think to take photos!

The tempeh takes on the texture and flavor of chicken fried steak or chicken fingers.  It was a hit.  Even my meatavore mister ate it.  I'm sure half to humor me, and half because he's not a douche and will try just about anything. 

Instead of making a batter you can dredge in soy milk and flour, make a wash of eggs and flour....any way really. 

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