Kung Pao Tempeh

Sarah Warfield and Sarah Joy Davis
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


2packages (8-ounces each) tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2tablespoons sesame oil
2tablespoons soy sauce
2tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
3large cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
1/2cup water
1tablespoon sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
1/2cup roasted, unsalted peanuts or cashews
4dashes dried red chiles (or 1 T seeded and diced chile pepper)
1large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1large head bok choy, chopped (6 cups)
2tablespoons soy sauce
1tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2tablespoons agave nectar
2tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2tablespoons arrowroot dissolved in 1 cup cold water
-- Ground Szechuan peppers to taste or a few drops of Szechuan oil, optional
1/4cup thinly sliced green onions



1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the marinade ingredients (the first 6 ingredients listed) in a casserole dish and mix well. Add the cubed tempeh, flipping to coat all sides. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, place the sesame oil in a large sauté pan or wok over low heat. Add the peanuts, chiles, and red bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the tempeh is done cooking, add the contents of the casserole dish to the sauté pan and gently mix well.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the bok choy, and gently stir well. Add the remaining ingredients except the green onion and cook until sauce thickens, approximately 3 minutes, stirring frequently and adding a small amount of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Top with green onion and additional peanuts if you wish before serving.


Replace the tempeh with tofu or seitan.

You can also replace the tempeh with 6 cups assorted chopped mixed vegetables such as onions, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower.

From the book The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray.  Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2010.