Stir-fry with tempeh

This month, I got to cook from not one, but two (!) blogs for the secret recipe club. Yesterday I posted about my rendition of Julia’s delicious galette; today I am sharing my version of a recipe from the great blog My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good.

I’ve always enjoyed Peggy’s creations, and it didn’t take me long to decide what to make: she talked up this tempeh stir-fry just the other day and it looked like it would make a quick, healthy, and delicious summer lunch. My refrigerator was overflowing with veggies from my garden as well as some my dad gave me from his CSA, and I already had the tempeh, so this was the perfect dish to make.

If you are not familiar with tempeh, allow me to introduce the two of you. Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soybean product, and I prefer it to tofu because it’s made from healthier fermented soy, and because it undergoes far less processing. It’s very high in protein and fiber, plus it keeps well, so I like to have a package in the fridge at all times to make dishes like this one on short notice.

I added a sweet potato instead of Peggy’s red potato and beets combination, and I made a couple of other changes to her recipe based on what I had on hand (and my penchant for spicy Asian dishes). But that’s the beauty of stir-fries: they are so adaptable! Thank you so much Peggy for the inspiration to whip up this nutritionally balanced bowl of deliciousness.

Sweet Potato and Tempeh Stir-Fry

Recipe for Summer Stir Fry with Sweet Potato and Tempeh

Yield: Makes 2 generous servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


* 1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and chopped
* one 8 oz. package organic tempeh
* 1 tablespoons tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
* juice from 1 lime
* 1/2 cup water
* 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
* 1 shallot or 1 small onion, minced
* 4 small garlic cloves, minced
* 1 Serrano or other hot chile pepper, minced
* several handfuls of chopped garden lettuces or mixed (mesclun) greens (or use chopped greens such as kale or cabbage)
* 1 pattypan or other small summer squash, chopped
* 2-3 small handfuls of cilantro and/or basil, minced
* 2 tablespoons tamari
* 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
* 1 tablespoon sesame oil
* pinch of cayenne pepper
* fresh lime juice for serving- optional
* minced cilantro for serving- optional
* garlic chile sauce or sriracha sauce for serving- optional


1. Steam chopped sweet potato for approximately 10 minutes, until tender. I did this in a colander over a big saucepan of water.

2. Crumble up the tempeh into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large skillet (I used a cast-iron skillet). Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon tamari, and the lime juice. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone.

3. Add the sweet potato to the tempeh, mix, and push to one side of the skillet. Add 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil on the bare side of the skillet, then add the shallots or onion, garlic, and chile pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes over medium high heat. Incorporate with the tempeh and sweet potato, add the squash and greens, and continue to cook over medium-high heat for another 4-5 minutes.

4. Stir in cilantro and/or basil and remove from the heat. In a small bowl, mix together the tamari, brown rice vinegar, sesame oil and cayenne powder. Pour over the stir fry and mix well. Taste the vegetables to see if they are cooked to your liking. Cook for another minute or two, if necessary, otherwise serve immediately.

5. Garnish with additional fresh lime juice, minced cilantro, and garlic chile sauce or sriracha, if desired.




  1. 1

    Peggy — July 19, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    Oh Winnie, thank you so much! I was somewhat bummed out yesterday when I was the blog that had someone back out last minute – but when Amanda told me someone volunteered to do another recipe, I was overjoyed!

    And I’m so glad you did! This looks amazing and I love the sweet potato substitution – definitely going to have to try it this way next time =)

    Thanks again Winnie – this is why I love love love the blogging community so much! =)

    • Winnie replied: — July 19th, 2011 @ 9:27 am

      You are so welcome Peggy. I was happy to do it…would be very bummed if someone backed out on me, so wanted to make sure no one felt left out! Plus I enjoy your recipes so it was a “no brainer”!

  2. 2

    Shelby — July 19, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    I’m sold on the stiffer-I can almost taste it!

  3. 3

    Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen — July 19, 2011 @ 10:10 am

    Winnie, kudos to you for contributing not one, but TWO recipes to the SRC. Your kindness and graciousness is amazing! I stock tempeh all the time too because the kids and hubby love it, and I think your version of this summer stir-fry is just screaming for me to go ahead and use up my tempeh!

  4. 4

    sarah, simply cooked — July 19, 2011 @ 10:14 am

    Thank you for telling me the difference between tempeh and tofu. I don’t eat a lot of soy, so I would like to pick the healthiest items when I do.

  5. 5

    Lisa~~ — July 19, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    This looks like a winning dish.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Holy Guacamole.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  6. 6

    Kelly Wilson — July 19, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    It sounds and looks really good. I have to drive a ways to get the tempeh. Next time I drive to the city, I am going to get some and try this.

  7. 7

    Delishhh — July 19, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

    This looks fabulous. Nice work on the Secret Recipe Club. Isn’t it fun. I love finding new blogs and reading through them. Always love coming to your blog :)

  8. 8

    Rachel — July 19, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    Very beautifully pictured. Gald to be at your space coutersy SRC.

  9. 9

    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — July 20, 2011 @ 2:01 am

    I’ve never been able to find a tempeh that I’ve liked, any recommendations? I’d love to try to use it again.

  10. 10

    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — July 20, 2011 @ 5:10 am

    I love tempeh and often forget about it. Bookmarked this recipe for when I get home – it looks like a perfect summer or winter dish!

  11. 11

    Amy @ A Little Nosh — July 29, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    That looks absolutely delicious! So glad to be part of SRC with you.

  12. 12

    marla — August 1, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    Two recipes for the SRC?! You go girl. This is a great meatless meal.

  13. 13

    Summer Stir Fry with Sweet Potato and Tempeh: Healthy Green Kitchen | The Secret Recipe Club — August 11, 2011 @ 5:05 am

    […] Check out Winnie’s recipe for Summer Stir Fry with Tempeh […]

  14. 14

    Suzanne — August 11, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    YUM! Although not a tofu fan, this is the best looking veggie stir fry ever. Now you have, in turn, inspired me! Great for a meatless main course. Now, off to the store!

  15. 15

    Amanda — August 11, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    I featured this beautiful dish today Winnie! :)

  16. 16

    Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy — August 11, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    Interesting about tempeh; I didn’t know that. Thanks for “introducing” us;)