Now I generally don't look at recipes that imitate something meaty. This particular recipe piqued my interest a couple of years ago when I got the amazing book Vegan Brunch. I had told J a million times that I would make these. Then I helped host a baby shower with a nautical theme for one of my best gals earlier this month. I finally decided to make these bad boys. I loved them! The little bits of tempeh in every bite, the crispy outside and pleasant inside, the spice of it...I was frakkin in love. J fell in love too. So I decided to make them again so J and I could enjoy them on the last day of our vacation.
Everyone should make these. There is a bit of work that goes in to them but they are worth every ounce of effort. Seriously.
8 ounces tempeh
1 cup water
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Vegenaisse
1 tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon hot sauce
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
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
Oil for pan frying
For the remoulade:
2 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard (stone ground
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons capers (try not to get too much brine)
Crumble the tempeh into a small sauce pan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and bay leaves. Don’t worry about the tempeh being totally submerged because it doesn’t need to be. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.
Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and mash with a fork. You’ll want to mash it up really well to where it becomes a bit pasty but still has some small tempeh bits left in it. It’s VERY important that you then let the tempeh mix cool for about 15 minutes. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them and that might make you upset if you’re anything like me. Add the Vegenaisse, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, chopped bell pepper, spices, salt and pepper, and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and then use your hands to mix it up really well.
Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour some panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently with your hands cupped to smooth them. Press them in to the panko. They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.
Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a wire rack over a plate to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.