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BBQ tempeh sandwich

BBQ tempeh sandwich

calderon chThe first time I ever had tempeh I bought a smoky flavoured box of it from a grocery store. I cooked it up, took a bite and promptly threw it out. Honestly, it was one of the worst things I had ever tried to eat; and there are not many of those. I swore I would never eat it again.

Then my friend cooked it up with a homemade barbeque sauce and I was smitten

Tempeh is made from soy, but is less processed. You can see the beans actually in the cake that you buy. It is a great source of protein and, because it is fermented, it is a source of probiotics.

Most soy products originated somewhere in China or possibly Japan or Korea, but tempeh comes to us from Indonesia, particularly from the island of Java.

You can usually find it at a local health food store, but check the larger markets too. When I can I order a large box of tempeh cakes and freeze them. Sometimes tempeh looks like it has a little mold on it. Don’t worry about that, it is a natural feature called a bloom and you would expect to find it on tempeh. I know because I called the manufacturer and asked (like hundreds of other people).

You will nearly always find some prepared tempeh in my fridge as it adds just the right texture, taste and nutrition to everyday meals like burgers Buddha bowls or in salads. This great recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite website might be just the ticket for your next barbeque.

Note: The sandwiches can be topped with any toppings you like. I got the broccoli slaw at Trader Joe’s but lettuce works great too. I also used some ketchup and hot/sweet mustard on ours. My homemade BBQ sauce has more of a tomato taste and is less “BBQ like” than traditional BBQ sauces, but we loved it. I left out the olive oil but adding it back in would help make the tempeh cook a little faster and crispier.

Servings: Makes 4 sandwiches

Homemade bbq sauce, protein packed tempeh and veggies fill this mouthwatering sandwich!


1 package tempeh

4 sprouted wheat or gluten free buns


1 avocado

1 cup broccoli slaw or 4 pieces lettuce

4 sandwich sliced dill pickles (optional)

any other toppings or condiments of choice

BBQ Sauce Marinade:

1 bottle of your favourite BBQ sauce or make your own using recipe below

homemade recipe:

1 ½ cups tomato sauce

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon molasses

3 tablespoons Tamari

3 teaspoons smoked paprika

½ teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)


Day 1. Make home made BBQ sauce marinade by mixing all ingredients in a deep dish. If using jarred then dump into a deep dish.

Cut tempeh block in half. Bring a pot of water to a boil, place tempeh halves inside and boil for 10-15 minutes. This removed any bitter taste from the tempeh.

Remove tempeh, and after it has cooled slice in half again length wise to make thinner patties. Place slices in marinade.

Marinate overnight, mix up the tempeh slices every once in a while to make sure you have all of them covered with marinade.

Day 2. Preheat oven to 400. Remove tempeh slices from the marinade and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Make sure they are coated with sauce.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and beginning to crisp at the edges. Make sure you turn the slices over half way through.

Once tempeh pieces are done, warm your buns in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Assemble sandwiches by placing tempeh slices, toppings, and any condiments on buns.

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