Home ยป Meatless Monday: Tempeh and Broccolini Stir-Fry

Meatless Monday: Tempeh and Broccolini Stir-Fry


Before you run off in fear, let me assure you that I am new to tempeh, too. Tempeh (pronounced “temp-eh”) is a soy-based vegetarian protein that is packed with calcium and fiber. And because temeph uses the whole soy bean, there is more protein, fiber, and vitamins & minerals in tempeh as compared to tofu. Unlike tofu’s very squishy texture, tempeh is dense and nutty. It is easier than tofu to prepare and takes on the flavors of other ingredients very readily.

If there’s a new ingredient, namely proteins, I want to try out on Mr. Prevention…Asian flavors are usually the safest choice. Vegetarian proteins are unique in that they are very mild in flavor and can adapt to most recipes, as was the case in this dish.

tempehbroccolini2The only draw-back to Asian ingredients such as soy sauce, hoisin, and seasoned rice vinegar are the high sodium contents. And MSG, though you can very easily find MSG-free ingredients in nearly any retailer.

Funny two-second story. When I went out for hibachi with my students last week, one of the students jokingly asked our chef if his teriyaki sauce was MSG-free. We all thought this was rather funny. And hey, I know they learned something 😉


Though Mr. Prevention was hesitant to try this dish, he had picked up the broccolini himself from Whole Foods and we fought all week over the various names — broccoli rabe, broccolini, baby broccoli, etc. Apparently, I was to give him ALL the possible names it could be under because my description of “tall, skinny broccolini” wasn’t good enough. If you can’t find broccolini, no sweat…just use your every day broccoli 🙂

Somewhat to my surprise, Mr. Prevention really enjoyed this dish. He would like me to note that “it’s all about the sauce” and he proceeded to pour more than his fair share of the remaining sauce over his plate. Whatever. Can’t blame him, the sauce is wonderful…as is this dish.


Tempeh and Broccolini Stir-Fry slightly adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 lb broccolini
6 Tbsp (about 4) green onions, chopped and divided
4 1/2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
3 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
5 tsp canola oil, divided
1 (8-oz) package organic tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cup snow peas, cut diagonally
1 cup uncooked brown rice (I used instant to make this a quick meal)
1/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts


Prepare rice according to directions.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook broccolini in boiling water for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge broccolini into ice water; drain. Squeeze dry. Cut into smaller pieces.

Combine 3 tablespoons green onions and the next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a bowl; set aside.

Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add tempeh; stir-fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Remove tempeh from pan; keep warm. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add broccolini and snow peas; stir-fry 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tempeh and vinegar mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Divide rice evenly among 3 bowls; top with tempeh mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons green onions and peanuts.

Yield: 3 servings (1 cup rice with 1 1/4 cup tempeh-broccolini mixture).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 444 calories; 15.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 828 mg. sodium; 59.5 g. carbohydrate; 8.3 g. fiber; 19.3 g. protein

Result: Tempeh success! Thanks to the bold flavors of hoisin, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper, it’s hard not to love this dish…even if you’re in search of the meat. I, personally, wouldn’t consider tempeh to be anything like meat, but I like it. It’s a nice change from tofu and tempeh is becoming easier to find all the time – my local Kroger now carries it ($2.99 for 8 oz — on sale for $1.99 many times) in the refrigerated health foods section. Mr. P-approved, too! Enjoy!


 Tomorrow, bring your insulin and your scout sash adorned with badges for a Girl Scout cookie re-make! 😀

Have a great week!

Be well,


Share With Your Friends!


  1. March 19, 2012 / 6:34 am

    No joke, I was just telling Nick’s mom about how I want to start using tempeh more, and how I need a tempeh stir-fry recipe! Definitely pinning this one ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also, we got our girl scout cookies yesterday and Nick ate 9. Yep, NINE!! Talk about needing an insulin shot. My goodness.

  2. March 19, 2012 / 7:30 am

    I tend to use tempeh and tofu interchangeably

  3. March 19, 2012 / 8:32 am

    I cooked with Tempeh yesterday – I like tempeh much better then tofu – I have texture issues with tofu!

    Looks like a great recipe – I haven’t made a stir-fry in a long time.

  4. March 19, 2012 / 8:36 am

    I absolutely adore tempeh, especially in asian dishes! That nutty, slightly bitter flavor goes perfectly with the sweet/salty/spicy sauces! this is totally pinned…I’m always in the mood for a good stir fry!

  5. March 19, 2012 / 10:03 am

    I’ve never tried tempeh, but I did see it at my local grocery store recently. This dish looks fabulous! We love the broccolini here, but you are right, tricky to find sometimes.

  6. March 19, 2012 / 10:43 am

    I love tempeh! And something about broccolini always seems so much *fancier* than regular broccoli ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. March 19, 2012 / 11:35 am

    I am so glad you posted this dish! The one time I tried tempeh, I just couldn’t get into it. But I think this combination of flavors would make the tempeh outstanding! YUM!

  8. March 19, 2012 / 11:58 am

    I have never tried tempeh, but I love tofu so I may have to give this one a go. And my insulin pen is ready to go for the cookie remake! ๐Ÿ˜€

    p.s. I referred my friend Amanda (http://tableforglasses.com/) to you – her doctor is a real ass and doesn’t seem to be listening to her. ๐Ÿ™

    • Nicole, RD
      March 19, 2012 / 7:37 pm

      Aw, thanks Biz! Your readers some truly wonderful…they always leave such thoughtful comments ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope we can whip that doc into shape…or fire’em!

  9. March 19, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    I’ve never had tempeh, but I want to! I’m intrigued…and now I know what to do with it! ๐Ÿ™‚ This looks delicious!

  10. March 19, 2012 / 3:19 pm

    This sounds really good, and I’ve been wanting to cook more with tempeh. I bought tempeh bacon awhile back and I really liked it. And since I’m too lazy to cook with meat, I always enjoy finding other forms of protein.

  11. March 19, 2012 / 4:40 pm

    I love tempeh but i never know how to cook it. This looks awesome, I’ll just have to take out the peanuts and add in something else for crunch! Any suggestions??

    • Nicole, RD
      March 19, 2012 / 7:35 pm

      Hmmm. Some fried up rice stick noodles?? I’m completely drawing a blank!

  12. March 19, 2012 / 5:32 pm

    Oooh, I so wish I could find tempeh here! I’ve never tried it and can’t find it near home, otherwise I’m sure I’d love it. Gotta love living in a small town sometimes, haha. This looks delicious though – I totally agree with your comment about asian flavors. So yummy, and a good way to introduce something new.

  13. March 19, 2012 / 5:42 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of tempeh but it might be time to give it another try. Your meal looks great

  14. March 19, 2012 / 10:06 pm

    We had tempeh once and enjoyed it quite a bit, don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to making it again. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. March 20, 2012 / 6:40 pm

    I’ve never tried temeh but always wanted to try it. This sounds fabulous!

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