Tempeh in Coconut Milk


Tempeh – I know a lot of people might not have heard about it.  I have tasted fried Tempeh a while ago in a restaurant.  Since then I have been looking for this product and finally found this at Trader Joe’s and I was quite happy to convert this Tempeh into delicious dishes.

Tempeh is very nutritious packed with a lot of nutrients. Tempeh is a traditional soy product originating from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. Like tofu, tempeh is made from soybeans, but it is a whole soybean product with different textural. Tempeh’s fermentation process and its retention of the whole soybean give it a higher content of protein and vitamins. It has a firm texture compared to tofu.  Because of its nutritional value, tempeh is used worldwide in vegetarian dishes as an alternative for meat.  .You can read more about Tempeh here.

Today (for the first time) I made a dish that is similar to a Thai red curry.  I am planning to cook more varieties including adding to Quinoa or Bulgur dishes.  Keep an eye for more Tempeh recipes.  For this dish I sautéed the Tempeh prior to making the curry, which gives extra flavor.  But this step can be avoided



  • 8 oz Tempeh
  • 1 small red onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • ¼ inch piece ginger
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
  • ¼ cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup frozen green peas
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Tempeh Cubes:


Fried/Sauteed Tempeh cubes:



  • Cut Tempeh into about 1/4 inch bite size pieces.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a skillet and once hot add Tempeh and sauté until golden brown on all sides.  Set aside
  • Thinly slice onion and garlic.  Chop ginger into fine pieces
  • Add rest of the oil to a saucepan and once hot add garlic and onion and sauté until lightly golden.  Now add ginger and sauté for another minute or two
  • Add Tempeh, coconut milk, water, Thai red curry paste, salt and cover and cook in medium flame for about 10 minutes
  • Add green peas and soy sauce and cook for further 3-4 minutes.  If the curry becomes too thick or dry add a little water or thin coconut milk to make gravy.
  • Let stand covered for 10 minutes for the gravy to get infused into Tempeh
  • Add lemon juice prior to serving (optional)
  • Serve warm with white rice.

Note: the curry will be delicious when it has some thick gravy.  So make sure to make it with gravy rather than dry.

4 thoughts on “Tempeh in Coconut Milk

    1. Hi Sharmine,

      I have added more explanation in my recipe now which might help other readers as well. You can check it just below the first picture in this recipe. In a nutshell Tempeh is made from whole soybeans by culturing and fermenting cooked soybeans. But tofu which is made by curdling hot soymilk. Also Tempeh can also made from other beans and grains. The Tempeh I bought has some other grains in it as well (you can check the ingredients in the package to see what other ingredients may the package has when you buy Tempeh). Hope this helps

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