This is a tasty dish for tempeh, and a great way to use cabbage. You can use any kind of cabbage, I just happen to love the curly texture of Savoy the best. Once you’re done prepping the vegetables, this easy dish goes fast. At the very end, if you want to bulk up the curry, add a couple handfuls of bean sprouts along with the lime and cilantro.
1. Broil or grill the tempeh until it is well browned all over. When it is cool enough to handle, cut diagonally into slices about ¼-inch thick. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or wide sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the coriander seeds and fry for a few seconds until they start to darken. Then add the garlic, jalapeño, and ginger. Stir-fry until the garlic starts to color slightly. Add the onions, carrots, and Italian pepper, and stir-fry until they begin to soften but not brown.
3. Add half the shredded cabbage. Stir-fry the cabbage until it starts to soften, then add the tempeh slices and gently mix in with the veggies. Cook for a minute. Add the turmeric, ground coriander, and cayenne, and mix to coat the tempeh and vegetables. Cook, stirring, for a minute. Do not let the spices burn.
4. Add the remaining cabbage, coconut milk, ¼ cup of water (use it to rinse out the coconut milk stuck in the can), salt or fish sauce, and sesame oil. Mix well. Cover and turn the heat down to simmer.
5. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until cabbage is tender, checking that nothing is sticking. Add some more water if looks too dry. It should be saucy but not swimming. When the cabbage is cooked, remove cover, add the lime juice and cilantro, and mix well. Adjust seasonings. Cook for another minute. It’s ready!
Serve with Basmati Rice
- 1 8 ounce block pasteurized tempeh (See Ann’s Tips)
- 2 tablespoons canola or grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips (optional)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced through the root end
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 medium Italian frying or bell pepper, seeded and cut into julienne strips
- ½ a small Savoy cabbage (about 1lb), cored, the thickest stems cut away, then finely shredded
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce or sea salt, to taste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Ann's Tips and Tricks
When purchasing tempeh be sure that is has been pasteurized. Raw tempeh should be cooked for at least 20 minutes in boiling water, then proceed with any recipe. Treat raw tempeh as you would raw meats to prevent cross contamination. Wash cutting boards, knives and hands after handling raw tempeh. Opened tempeh should always smelly mushroom-like or yeasty.
If you make this with Napa cabbage, do not discard the wide stems. Trim off the tender greens and cook the stems, finely sliced, along with the peppers, carrots, and onions, adding the greens in step 3. If you don’t like cilantro, try adding a little shredded mint or basil. If you can find it, fresh Thai basil would be perfect here.
Whole spices keep their flavor better than ground, and last longer. A cheap coffee grinder is a great investment for the kitchen. You can use it to freshly grind whole spices as needed. You won’t believe the difference in flavor.