Vegetarian Stir-Fry Salad with Tempeh

Vegetarian Stir Fry Salad with Tempeh on Bowls ready to eat
Photo: Judy Matusky, RDN, LDN

Many of you may not be familiar with tempeh but I hope to persuade you to give it a try. Tempeh is a vegetarian soy product and is very different from tofu. It has a complex nutty, mushroom-like flavor and a firm texture. Crumbled or grated, it is an excellent vegetarian substitute for ground beef. Sliced into strips with a marinade, it can be grilled or tossed into a stir fry. If this is your first attempt at cooking tempeh, try this recipe because I think you will like the crumbled texture and familiar stir fry flavors of the sauce. This recipe is quick to prepare, making it an ideal choice for a Meatless Monday. Vegetarian Stir-Fry Salad with Tempeh -

Vegetarian Stir-Fry Salad with Tempeh

Recipe adapted from

Servings: 4


Sesame Ginger Sauce

  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup low-sodium tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger or ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Tempeh Veggie Mixture

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (7-ounce) package tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • Chopped romaine lettuce or arugula
  • Garnishes: chopped peanuts, chopped scallions


  1. Place all sesame ginger sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add canola oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes then add crumbled tempeh. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, peppers, broccoli, stirring occasionally for another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour sesame ginger sauce over vegetable mixture and cook until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve over chopped lettuce and top with peanuts and scallions.

Note: Tempeh comes is several flavors. I tend to use either the original or garden veggie. For a faster preparation of this recipe, you could substitute your favorite store-bought stir fry sauce. This mixture can also be served in lettuce cups or as lettuce wraps.

Nutrition Note: Tempeh (TEM-pay) is a traditional soy product made by a natural culturing and fermentation process that binds the soybeans into a cake form. Tempeh’s fermentation process makes it more digestible, reducing the phytic acid in soy, which allows the body to absorb more nutrients found in tempeh. Tempeh is also a source of beneficial bacteria, protein, fiber and B vitamins.

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Judy Matusky
Judy Matusky, RDN, LDN, is a registered and licensed dietitian based in Ardmore, PA, and owner of Athens Nutrition. Her culinary nutrition blog is Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.