This one-skillet sautéed tempeh is served in a creamy, peppery, and rich mushroom coconut sauce. It’s garlicky, savory, and so flavorful! One of my favorite tempeh recipes!
Temperatures are still cold, and there is nothing better than a rich, earthy, and filling one-pan meal to warm us up!
📘 What is Tempeh
Tempeh is an Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans. As opposed to tofu, tempeh is prepared from whole soybeans that are bound together by a white mold called “Rhizopus oligosporus” growing between each bean.
Tempeh is nutrient-dense, healthy, and packed with protein! With that being said, let’s jump straight into the recipe!
🥣 How to Make this Tempeh Recipe
Here is what you will need:
- Tempeh – You can use soybean tempeh, black bean tempeh, or even chickpea tempeh!
- Soy sauce – For saltiness and a ton of flavor. Use tamari if you want to make this recipe gluten-free.
- Maple syrup – To balance the saltiness and the earthy flavor of the tempeh.
- Onion and garlic – These will bring a natural sweetness to the sauce.
- Mushrooms – I used a combination of different mushrooms here (king oysters, oysters, and fresh shiitakes), but it works with all kinds of mushrooms. Use what you have on hand, cremini mushrooms will work perfectly.
- Coconut milk – For creaminess, use full-fat coconut milk, or you can substitute with cashew cream.
- Ground black pepper – Its pungent and woody flavors go perfectly with the mushrooms and tempeh.
- Cornstarch – The addition of cornstarch helps thicken the sauce.
Marinate the Tempeh
Start by cutting the tempeh into bite-size cubes. Then, marinate it in a combination of soy sauce, maple syrup, and garlic for at least 30 minutes. Feel free to prepare it the night before and let the tempeh marinate overnight.
Next, sauté the tempeh with the marinade until almost no liquid remains and it starts to brown.
To make the mushroom sauce, sauté onions, and garlic until the onions start to caramelize. Browning the onions will add extra flavor and natural sweetness to the sauce.
Then, add the mushrooms and sauté until cooked, about 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms are cooked, deglaze the skillet with soy sauce to add umami.
Finally, for richness and creaminess, pour in full-fat coconut milk. I chose to dilute the coconut milk with water; otherwise, I found the coconut to be overpowering.
Sprinkle with a generous pinch of ground black pepper, some chopped cilantro, and it’s ready to serve!
- If you want to give the sauce a beige/orange color, stir in a teaspoon of saté or chili oil. You could also use annatto oil to sauté the aromatics, which will also add color without adding any spiciness.
- To make this recipe coconut-free, substitute the coconut milk with cashew cream or your favorite plant-based cream.
- If you are having trouble digesting onions, you can substitute it with shallots.
The nutty flavor of tempeh goes so well with the umami-packed mushroom sauce. Serve this tempeh in mushroom coconut sauce over a bed of rice or with noodles for a filling and cozy dinner!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Update January 2022: The photos and the content have been improved.
Want to Save This Recipe?
Enter your email below & we’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you will receive new recipes every week!
I’d like to receive more tips & recipes from Full of Plants.
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 and 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp cornstarch diluted in 1 tbsp water, to thicken the sauce
- for topping: cilantro, parsley, ground black pepper
- Cut the tempeh into 1-inch cubes and place them in a deep plate or baking dish. In a small bowl, prepare the marinade by combining the soy sauce, maple syrup, and garlic. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and stir to coat. Let the tempeh marinade for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Once the tempeh has marinated, heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet. Add the tempeh with the marinade and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tempeh has absorbs the marinade and starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and fry until golden brown. Next, add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked and start to brown.
- Deglaze the skillet with the soy sauce. Add the maple syrup, ground black pepper, salt, coconut milk, and water. Stir to combine and cook for another 5 minutes. If you want to thicken the sauce, add the diluted cornstarch.
- Add the sautéed tempeh to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve on top of rice or noodles and top with chopped cilantro!
- Tempeh and the sauce will stay in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
About the Author
Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.