Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sesame Ginger Tempeh Sandwiches

As far as I know, Asian food and sandwiches aren't really synonymous. I'm not claiming to know all the food from every country in Asia, but I haven't heard of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese Korean or Indonesian sandwiches. If you know of any, please let me know so that I can try them because this sandwich is delicious.

This brings me to another point. When I say "Asian food" I recognize that Asia is a continent made up of vastly different people groups and cuisines. But this sandwich isn't really from any particular Asian country, it just uses various traditionally Asian flavors. So be notified, I know "Asian food" is a very general term and all food from Asia is not alike.

For this recipe you'll be making a marinade to bake the tempeh, a simple sauce, and a simple slaw. Then it's all assembled on a roll of your choice.

8 oz. tempeh (as usual for these tempeh sandwiches, try to get a long rectangle shaped tempeh cake rather than those short, stubby square ones).
1/4 c. water or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. shoyu or tamari
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (or rice vinegar in a pinch)
1 Tbsp. chile garlic paste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2" knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
2 scallions, roughly chopped
2 tsp. arrowroot powder or corn starch and 4 tsp. water, mixed together
2 c. cabbage, shredded
1/2 tsp. rice wine or brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
A small pinch of sea salt
about 1/3-1/2  c. Veganaise
Sriracha hot sauce or chili garlic paste to taste, I like about 1 Tbsp.
4 rolls of your choice, (I like multigrain ciabatta, just because they're usually the right size for the tempeh patties)

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the marinade by whisking together the water or broth, shoyu, lemon, chili garlic paste, garlic, ginger and scallions in a small bowl. Set aside.

2) Slice the tempeh in half width wise to make two squares. Then slice each square in half lengthwise through the center forming two flat squares (not two little fat rectangles).

3) Place the tempeh in a 2 quart baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Gently toss the tempeh around to coat in the marinade and cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

4) Mix the arrowroot or corn starch and water together in a small bowl and set aside.

5) As the tempeh bakes prepare the slaw by sprinkling 1/4 tsp. sea salt, the vinegar, and the toasted sesame oil over the thinly sliced cabbage (you could also use a bagged slaw mix from the grocery store) and tossing it together. Set aside.

6) Also prepare the Sriracha mayo in a small bowl by whisking the Veganaise and Sriracha hot sauce or chile garlic paste together in a small bowl. Set aside. You can also slice open your rolls at this point.

7) When the tempeh has baked for 15 minutes, remove the foil, give the arrowroot/water mixture one last whisk and pour it over the tempeh sauce (try to pour it into the spots where the sauce is visible). Use a fork to try to mix the arrowroot into the sauce a bit. Flip the tempeh patties over with a spatula and return to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes to let the sauce thicken a bit.

8) To assemble the sandwiches, spread the Sriracha mayo over the tops and bottoms of each roll. Place a tempeh patty on the bottom half of each roll and top the tempeh with some of the slaw. Place the top of the roll over the slaw and secure with a toothpick or some similar device.

This makes 4 sandwiches.

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