Teriyaki Tempeh and Veggies

I think it’s time that we talked tempeh.  Have you tried tempeh before?  In case you haven’t or in case you have no idea what I am talking about, let me clue you in.  Tempeh is cooked and fermented soy beans that have had a bacteria starter added to them and then were held at 86 degrees for 24 – 36 hours.  Tempeh is a very digestible form of soy and is full of protein – making it a perfect entree in a vegetarian or vegan meal.  Tempeh has a very unique taste and I have often heard it described as “nutty,” “earthy,” or similar to the flavor of mushrooms.

Tempeh is best when marinated in a sauce to give it some flavor, especially if you are trying tempeh for the first time.  You can also steam tempeh before cooking and this will help cut down on the bitterness.  Most health food stores will carry tempeh ranging from plain to flavored and some brands even have tempeh with a mix of grains.  Tempeh will have a white layer and often dark spots as well.  This is completely normal and is part of the culturing process.  Since tempeh is made with soy, I highly recommend choosing organic because it ensures the soybeans were not genetically-modified.  Tempeh will most often come as a solid block and then you will be able to slice, chop, or grate it depending on your recipe.

This recipe involves a homemade teriyaki sauce that is a bit sweet, spicy, and flavorful.  Typical teriyaki sauces use a lot of sugar, but I opted to sweeten this version with dates instead.  This sauce is perfect on tempeh, stir-fried with fresh veggies, or just served over brown rice.

Teriyaki Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
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Recipe type: Sauce
  • 3 medjool dates + 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder + ¼ cup water
  1. Blend dates and 1 cup water until liquified. Add to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, liquid aminos, ginger, and garlic. Heat for about a minute.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch (or arrowroot) and ¼ cup water together. Add to the mixture in the pan and heat for two minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened.



Teriyaki Tempeh
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 package of plain tempeh
  • Slice temeph into ½-inch slices.
  1. Heat coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Add the tempeh slices to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip tempeh. Add about 3 tablespoons of the teriyaki sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, until tempeh is browned. Drizzle with additional sauce (if desired) before serving.

Teriyaki Veggies
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  1. Add the coconut oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli, snow peas, and bok choy. Add the remaining teriyaki sauce and saute for an additional 3 - 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender.


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  1. Lindsay Loves Veggies says

    That teriyaki sauce sounds so good!

    I usually only buy the maple “bacon” tempeh, because it’s sooo good on BLTs. I’ve tried plain a couple times and the fermented flavor bugged me. I guess I need to try it with some awesome marinades! Thanks! :)

  2. Terri Cole says

    Steaming or poaching tempeh (10-15 minutes) before using it in a recipe can reduce the strong/bitter notes that turn some people off.

    I love the idea of using dates to sweeten teriyaki sauce, thanks for what looks like a great recipe!

    • says

      Yes, steaming really helps cut some of tempeh’s bitter flavor. I forgot to mention this in the post, but I will add it in! Thank you!

  3. Judith says

    Thank you for the sugar-free DIY-Teriyaki sauce recipe! I’m about to try it, but I haven’t found any liquid aminos around here (NL), so do you have any suggestions how to replace it? Could I use more soy sauce instead? Or would that ruin the teriyaki-taste?

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