This bell pepper and tempeh stir-fry cooks up super fast and is served up with roasted cashews in a sweet and savory maple hoisin sauce.
It’s hard to believe it now, but just, maybe a couple of weeks ago, I was wondering if winter was ever going to end. Then this weekend hit, and bam, it’s 90+ degrees out, the air conditioner is running and I’ve got my humble little start to a vegetable garden planted in the backyard.
I guess what that means for me and this site, and of course any of you that are following along, is lots of easy, no-fuss, stovetop meals. I’m so lazy in the summer, but I’ve never had a complaint about recipes on this blog being too easy, so I’m going to roll with it.
Stir-fries are the best when it comes to quick and easy stovetop meals, and I’ve gotten pretty good at creating vegan analogues of old take-out favorites. So today, it’s cashew tempeh stir-fry, something of a veganized version of cashew chicken.
I steamed the tempeh. I usually don’t do this, though sometimes I advise it, especially for people who aren’t normally into tempeh. Tempeh can have a bitter undertone and steaming it before cooking helps get rid of it. For years I’ve been going around saying that I don’t mind the bitter flavor, which I really don’t, but this time around I was working with a package of tempeh that had been sitting in the fridge for a while, and I always feel like older tempeh is a bit heavier on the bitterness, so I steamed it. It was great. I loved it, but what really got me is that my husband loved it too. Like, he raved about it, and he’s not normally a huge tempeh fan. If tempeh isn’t normally your favorite thing, try it with some pre-steaming. It also doesn’t hurt to toss it in a super flavorful sauce with crunchy cashews, so this might just be the recipe for you to try.
Cashew Tempeh Stir-Fry
- 3 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- a big pinch of white pepper
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1-8 oz. package tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, I used half of each, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- cooked rice
- 2 scallions, chopped
- toasted sesame seeds
- Optional: steam the tempeh. The easiest way to do this is by wrapping it in a wet paper towel and placing in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 2 minute increments, for 4 to 6 minutes total, stopping and letting it sit for a minute or so between increments.
- Stir hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and white pepper together in a small bowl.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and place over medium heat. Add tempeh cubes in a single layer. Cook about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on multiple sides. Remove tempeh from skillet and transfer to a plate.
- Coat skillet with remaining tablespoon of oil and raise heat to high. Add bell pepper and stir-fry until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Return tempeh to skillet and add hoisin sauce mixture and cashews. Flip a few times to coat everything and cook just until ingredients are heated throughout, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
- Divide rice among plates or bowls. Top with stir-fried tempeh and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve.
Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.