Tempeh “crab” cakes

I’m throwing myself a small pity party right now. You can come, especially if you want to help me do dishes.

And I hope you don’t mind the fog. That’s supposed to be a beautiful view of the ocean. The sun is trying SO HARD to break through but it’s just.not.happening.

So I’m having this pity party because it’s the first day of school, and I’m not there. I’m on maternity leave with no baby, and no signs of her coming any time soon.

The good news, though, is that this childless maternity leave means I can cook things whenever the mood strikes. Like these amazingly delectable tempeh cakes, which are just like crab cakes, except better! With a spicy, caper and mustard mayo sauce and a pile of mashed potatoes, there aren’t many things I’d rather eat right now.

I know a lot of people are kind of anti-tempeh but I promise, this is THE recipe that will win them all over. I think the key is boiling the tempeh in a little water and soy sauce to soften it up and infuse some flavor. After that it’s mixed with some bell pepper and spices and bread crumbs, and pan fried to perfection.

(adapted from Post Punk Kitchen)

makes about 10

8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
1 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons mayonaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Sriracha (or to taste)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspooon salt
fresh black pepper
2 cups whole grain bread crumbs, toasted

3 tbsp mayonaise
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
a few dashes Sriracha
2 tbsp capers, drained

Start by combining the crumbled tempeh, water, bay leaf, soy sauce, and olive oil in a small saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Discard the bay leaf and put the tempeh in a bowl. Mash with a fork and let stand until cool, 20-30 minutes.

Stir in the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, spices, vinegar, bell pepper, salt and pepper. Add about 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs and mix well. The mixture should hold together when pressed into patties. Put the remaining crumbs in a wide, shallow bowl

Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet. Form about 1/4 cup tempeh mixture into a 2-3″ disk. Coat each side with the leftover bread crumbs, then place in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

To make the sauce, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl, taste and adjust seasonings.

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3 comments to Tempeh “crab” cakes

  • Funny to be on maternity leave with no baby! And you still have a couple weeks, things can move very fast, very quickly. She’ll be here in no time.

  • Susan

    The ‘crab’ cakes sound terrific. Will be trying them very soon with the tempeh in the freezer.

  • I’m sorry for your pity party, but not too sorry, since it inspired such a delicious looking recipe! I’ll probably be making these myself next week, but mine will have to have zucchini in them, as I’m currently about knee deep in giant zucchini..

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