Last night, I was checking out the links that Shannon put on the sidebar -- and adding my own -- and I clicked on one I'd never seen before: The Savory Notebook. Her peanut butter category was my first stop, and I wound up making this for dinner last night with tofu instead of tempeh.
I was initially skeptical about making the two separate sauces, but it turned out to be a great idea -- when I usually make peanut sauce, I never like how heavy and gloppy it is on the vegetables and protein. The stuff that's stirred into the noodles is always perfect, but alone it's weird. This solved the problem perfectly -- after I cooked the tofu the way I always do, I added some of the light sauce with scallions and some random greens, then sauteed a huge bunch of green beans with another portion of the sauce, with the lid on. Which I guess is steaming. Whatever.
Anyway -- it was good, and there are no leftovers today because my roommates liked it so much that they ate it all. Here is the recipe the way it showed up originally on the blog... someday I will try it with tempeh the way she has it.
For the Tempeh:
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons mirin (rice wine)
1 teaspoon grated ginger (I used powdered)
1 garlic clove, minced
8 ounces tempeh, cut into cubes
1/4-1/2 cup water (I didn't need any water when making the sauce)
1/2 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger (powdered)
1-2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic (didn't have this; I put in a ton of red pepper flakes and chili powder instead)
2 garlic cloves, minced
*Note - you can add any sauteed vegetable you like. Red bell pepper or snow peas would go nicely. I used zucchini - not something I would normally pick, but it's what we had on hand at the time. (The green beans I had were perfect, although they sort of sat on top with the tofu instead of being mixed in. The scallions and farmshare greens mixed in better.)
To prepare tempeh, in a bowl, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, ginger, and garlic.
Arrange the tempeh in a single layer in a wide sauté pan. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat, and cook until nearly dry. (My pan kept going dry before 20 minutes was up, so I kept adding water - tempeh needs to cook to get rid of the bitterness.) At this point, the tempeh may be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to a week.
For the sauce, mix all of the ingredients, except water, in a small saucepan, whisk to combine, and warm over low heat. Add water to achieve desired consistency. Heat to a simmer, then pour sauce over tempeh and heat through.
Serve over your favorite rice. I used brown basmati, but white basmati or jasmine would work well too. (I used vermicelli rice noodles, my favorite choice to soak up sauce.)