Monday, 26 April 2010

tofu + tempeh kapitan and lots of ginger

First Danni picked up a cold, then she passed it on to several people. So we were sitting around the house, and en-colded vegans were feeling a bit gross, so I did what I always do in this situation: I made a curry.

I had a little bit of tempeh and a little bit of tofu floating around in the fridge, so I thought I'd use this to make a kapitan. I also had two bulbs of bok choi wilting in the bottom of the fridge, and so it seemed like a good time to make ginger bok choi.

I usually use mock chicken for this, as kari kapitan is a chicken recipe, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. Overall it went okay - the tofu was good, but even though I fried the tempeh for ages, it was still kind of bland. If I was going to try this again, I would probably try and marinate the tempeh in some chilli or something for a little while before hand, and then cook it exactly the same way. It might make for some spicy bites, though, which are all good.

tofu and tempeh rendang

tofu and tempeh kapitan

I would recommend marinating the diced tempeh first in some chilli flakes, mixed in a little water to form a thick paste that you can rub into the tempeh.

1 shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 heaped teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 heaped teaspoon garamasala
3 curry leaves
3 lime kaffir leaves
3 medium to large potatoes, peeled and diced (some small cubes, some larger)
half a cup of firm tofu, cubed
half a cup of tempeh, cubed small
a large handful snake beans (cut in thirds)
1 tomato, diced tiny
1 large can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock

Using a thin-bottom pot, fry the shallot (sliced) in some peanut oil with the garlic, until it starts to discolour. Mix together the chilli and garamasala with a little water until a thick paste is formed, and add this paste, as well as the tempeh, to the pot. Braise the tempeh, and coat well in the paste. Keep frying, and adding more oil, as necessary, until it is well cooked. About halfway through, add the tofu. The tofu doesn't need to be well cooked, but some firming and frying is good.

Add the potato, tomato, lime kaffir leaves and curry leaves, as well as the stock. Add extra water so that the ingredients are almost but not totally covered. Simmer on low heat with the lid on for about thirty minutes, then add the snake beans. Add extra water if necessary, and replace the lid. Simmer or another twenty minutes, then add the coconut milk. Leave to simmer with the lid off for ten minutes. Smother rice in the gravy and serve (maybe with some roti).

bok choi and ginger

2 bulbs bok choi, stalks and leaves separated from each other
2 cm of fresh ginger, julienned
1 or 2 fresh chillis, sliced
a dash or two of dark soy
1 dash vegan oyster sauce
half a carrot, julienned

In a little peanut oil in a hot wok, fry the chillis with the ginger, then add the carrots and a dash of water, and put the lid on. Leave to steam for a minute or three, until the carrot softens slightly. Add the bok choy stalks and a dash more water if necessary, and repeat with the steaming. Then throw in the leaves and the sauce to wilt, and serve.


Jackie said...

I made a tofu-only version of this for dinner last night, and am eating the leftovers for lunch right now. It's delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

steph said...


Deb said...

Hi Steph
I'm a meat eater, but I like to cook veg/vegan dishes as well. I've tried tempeh once and didn't like it. I'd like to give it another go. What would you suggest as a good way to try for a first-timer?

steph said...

Hi Deb!

I find tempeh is definitely one of those things that has to be prepared right in order for it to be tasty. I would recommend trying a few things: a) slice them really thinly and fry them as crispy chips (such as in this recipe); b) or marinate them before cooking (such as in this recipe). A really simply marinate and fry is slice them like potato chips, then marinate in sesame oil, minced garlic, and soy sauce, before frying them in some oil until they're dark on each side (about ten-ish minutes). I love making tempeh like that and putting it in sushi.

Hope some of these ideas help!