I love to eat tempeh, which is the less processed form of tofu. It has a nutty taste and a firm texture, produced by cooking and fermenting whole soybeans and then pressing them into a dense patty (source: Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen). Since tempeh does not have a whole lot of flavour, I scratch my head sometimes to make them tasty until I read Kris Carr’s recipe of Madeira Peppercorn Tempeh in her latest cookbook. The recipe uses ginger, kombu, sea salt and sliced garlic to make a soup base to simmer the tempeh before frying the tempeh.
Kombu! It is an edible kelp, a large seaweed (the green algae family), and contains an abundance of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, proteins, and enzymes. Sea vegetables are actually a popular ingredient of Asian cooking (in soup and broth) although they are less used in the Western cuisines. The many health benefits of sea vegetables can be found here and here. Kombu, when added to beans, can also lessen the gas-producing effect. Kombu/kelp is naturally salty and is usually salted for storage, which makes it a good substitute of salt.
Here is my own Tempeh recipe – Tempeh Soup with Kelp and Swiss Chard
- Add bits of ginger, chopped kombu, sliced garlic, and sea salt (optional) to a boiling pan of water. Then lower the heat to simmer the tempeh.
- Add some onions, fresh basil leaves, and cooking wine to the simmering soup. Cook for about 20 minutes.
- Then put in swiss chard to cook for 3 more minutes. Season with more sea salt and pepper if suited.
Viola! A very yummy tempeh soup. Let me know if you have other secret sauce in your soup or your favourite way of eating tempeh.