Easy Tempeh Cutlets (fritters) recipe
I rely on Soya beans and its by products for our day to day source of protein along with the more obvious ones like Legumes etc. Among that is Tempeh which I love. Its texture is close to that of a meat and it does look weird. But don't get fooled by its looks cos its immensely versatile and nutritious. I use it more often in dishes which call for Bacon. They also wonderfully crisp up and add that delicious crunch. This was another of those recipes which got deleted during my migration to this new domain - about which I already mentioned about here. So when I made this again recently, I thought I will blog about it once again.
Easy Tempeh Cutlets (fritters) recipe
This was actually, I think, my first very recipe with tempeh. I got Tempeh only after I saw it in this recipe and it looked so tempting that I had to get it. After this, it actually made me a lover and have from then on, tried in various other recipes and experimented with it. If you are getting started with tempeh or if you don't like it yet, then this is a must try for you. It might make you a fan of Tempeh just like it did for me. This also makes for a different evening snack for kids who wont know that it made with tempeh. The aromatic Lemongrass and other ingredients mask its otherwise almost bland taste and makes this totally delicious. Its my family fav. Do give it a try, it might become yours too. Easy Tempeh Cutlets (fritters) recipe
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 3 people
  • Yields: About 8-10 cakes depending on the size
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, outer leaves removed and inside finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (I used 1 medium onion)
  • 2-3 chilies, seeded, finely chopped (as per taste)
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • about 4-5 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-1/4 cups tempeh, sliced
  • 1 tbsp lime/lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour(or soy flour to make it gluten free)
  • 1 large egg (I used 1 tbsp tomato paste instead)
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. You can crumble the tempeh or slice it into cubes. You are just going to process it along with few other ingredients in the processor so a rough chop world work fine too.
2. Place the lemongrass, garlic, scallions, onion, chilies,ginger and cilantro in a food processor.
3. process into a coarse paste.
4. Add the tempeh, lime juice and sugar.
5. Blend until combined. Add the seasoning, flour and egg (if using). Process again until mixture forms a coarse sticky paste.
6. Dust your hands with some flour to avoid the mixture from sticking to your hands. Now take a heaped serving (spoonful) of the tempeh mixture at a time and form into rounds/patties/cakes. You should be able to shape it even though it still feels little sticky. If very sticky that you are not able to shape it at all, then add little more flour.
7. Heat enough oil to cover the base of a non stick pan. Drop the cakes/patties/cutlets.
8. You will see the edges/bottom browning.
9. Turn and cook. Repeat for all the cutlets.
10. Drain on paper towels.
Serve hot with any condiment of your choice. You don't have to use this much oil - I have tried spraying a non stick pan with PAM spray and cooking these cutlets, Baked them and they all come out fine. They don't have the same texture as shallow frying, but there is no compromise on the taste. The book also suggests a Sweet Dipping sauce to go with it. Here is the recipe
    Mix the following together
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 chiles,finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro,chopped
  • large pinch of salt
Easy Tempeh Cutlets (fritters) recipe

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recipe courtesy vegetarian

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By jaya on Oct 17, 2013

its seems to be good and it was gooooooooooooooooooooooooood!

By Jamie on Sep 23, 2012

Love these Tempeh things and they're so cheap in Phuket as well. Need some chiili sauce otherwise they're abit bland.

By ksw on Sep 5, 2012

Yum. Just made this for dinner. Didn't feel like measuring so I eyeballed ingredients but it seemed like a recipe that allows for that! Made a Thai Peanut dipping sauce which I used to dress mixed greens from a farmer's market. Put patties on top. Very, very good!

By Robin on May 7, 2012

It seems to me that I remember that tempe is fermented tofu. If you have a whole foods grocery store, or an organic food store they should carry tempe-it will be in the refrigerated section. It comes in shrink-wrapped plastic-the kind that all the air has been sucked out of but unlike tofu it isn't packed in water.The package does say that it has to be refrigerated and it is perishable because it has no preservatives.My son who is a vegan eats it all the time and I've tried one kind that we have here that is called 5-grain made with soybeans,bulgur wheat,barley, millet,brown rice, oats and other things. The serving size is 1/3 of the package (the package is 8 ounces/227 grams)and that serving size provides 26% of your daily protein requirement. He cuts it into small pieces,marinates them, pan fries them briefly and sprinkles them into salads instead of croutons,adds them as an extra ingredient in his raw veggie wraps, and also puts them in his stir-frys.This recipe sounds like it will be a tasty new addition to his pretty limited repertoire.

By Vona on Apr 10, 2011

Hi! I already love tempe but I have learned another trick that makes tempe even more delicious in any recipe! It is steam the tempe for 10 minutes before using in a recipe! I learned this from a friend who does macrobiotic cooking and eating! It works! this cutlet recipe is a real keeper! thanks again for sharing!

By Archi on Nov 30, 2010

can i find this in Raley's or Safeway? Wholefoods is not near my place. And where do you get all these other ingredients like water cress? I would love to try that soup and this too.

That's something you would have to figure out since every location is different. We dont have Raley's here so I have no clue about that one. Our safeway does not carry tempeh but watercress should be available almost everywhere

By Sanju on Sep 9, 2010

I Dont think Tempeh is available in chennai . Can u suggest some other subtitute edible instead of tempeh ?

By Sanju on Sep 9, 2010


By Sanju on Sep 9, 2010

what is the other substitute for Tempeh ? I dont think I can get it in Chennai (India) .

By Susan on Aug 24, 2010

These look delicious! What sort of sauce or condiments do you serve with these?

I love the one thats suggested in that book itself. Its a sweet dipping sauce. Have updated the recipe with this sweet dipping sauce too...Hope u like that :)

By fabiano on Aug 22, 2010

I just made this recipe today and I do love it! I had to make a few substitutions due to lack of exact recipe ingredients. In place of 2-3 chilies and fresh garlic I used a couple of teaspoons of thai green curry paste. I had to use ginger powder in place of fresh ginger. First I sauteed the spring onions, shallots, and lemon grass in a little oil. Then added the thai green curry paste and a splash of plain unsweetened soy milk. Cooked for a while until almost dry. Added ginger powder (1 tsp), 1/8 cup soymilk, the tsp. of sugar, and simmered about 2-3 minutes. Took off heat, scraped into a glass bowl and added 2-3 tbl. of panko. (used this mixture as the binder in place of the 1 egg and instead of the tomato paste in the recipe). Thanks again for a grrrrrrreat tempeh recipe :-P

By swati on Aug 12, 2010

can i use nutrela nuggets instead of tempeh?

Give it a try although I am not sure the taste/texture will be close to tempeh!

By Tania on Aug 4, 2010

I made these and they were delicious. Five stars from me. I didn't have any lemongrass so I used lemon zest. And I didn't have any spring onions so I used four largish shallots. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I made some burger sized. I also cooked them in less oil which worked fine but they didn't end up as crisp as yours (as to be expected). Thanks for posting this. I'll try the lemongrass next time. :-P

By Lavanya rammohan on Jul 24, 2010

Looks very good and nutritious. Where can we get Tempeh in US?

They are mostly available in large supermarkets and health stores. Do you have Whole Foods in your area? It should be totally available there along with Tofu, Seitan etc.

By Rashmi on Jul 21, 2010

I have recently discovered the joys of tempe. The one I get, however, is not as firm looking ( here we get it wrapped in banana leaves), wonder if I'll get the same texture as yours. Thanks for this recipe.

By Apu on Jul 20, 2010

Looks delicious!! Its too hot for frying in my part of the world:(

By CurryLeaf on Jul 20, 2010

mouthwatering.never tried tempeh.but have heard about its blandness.It seems we have to properly use it to overcome its raw taste.Pass it on Dearie...

By nikita on Jul 20, 2010

Hi! This looks and sounds wonderful. I would love to try it. I have some firm tofu at home. Is it possible to replace tempeh with tofu for now, til i can get hold of some tempeh? would any other additions need to be made, if using tofu?

Yes usually I would say Tofu makes a good substitute but for this dish I am not very sure. Try it with extra firm tofu - it might work, I am not sure having never tried it. I have a tofu burger recipe which I love. Will post it someday soon

By sowmya on Jul 19, 2010

very new to me,,is tempeh something like tofu?

Tempeh is among soy bean products - like a cousin of tofu. Its texture is very different from Tofu although they both tastes bland and require marinating/flavor to add to taste

By madhuri jain on Jul 19, 2010

wat is tempeh :?: :?: ??is it veg or non veg and from where i can get this????

Mine is a Lacto Ovo vegetarian site - rest assured I am not cooking anything non-vegetarian. My first para says that this is among soy bean products - like a cousin of tofu. I am not sure if its available in India.

By bergamot on Jul 19, 2010

looks really good.

By prathibha on Jul 19, 2010

Never had this..looks really yummy :)

By jumana on Jul 19, 2010

m gonna try this soon.its mouthwaterin n perfect 4 rainy day

By sathya sankar on Jul 19, 2010

Cutlets looks delicious and tempting !

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By Priya on Jul 19, 2010

Such a beautiful cutlets, looks very delicious and interesting..

By Radhika Vasanth on Jul 19, 2010

I was somehow thinking that lemon grass cannot be eaten as is. It is just added for the flavor. Thai flavored cutlets definitely sound like my kind of dish. I can't wait to try this.

By Suman Singh on Jul 19, 2010

this is something new to me...never had tempeh cutlet before...looks wonderful and delicious..very tempting pics...also love the step by step pictorial...very useful...thanks for sharing this...

By Veggie Belly on Jul 19, 2010

Love the thai flavors and the golden brown color! I would turn this into a burger. Yum!