Our Food Philosophy
August 5, 2022

10 Delicious Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan Recipes

Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan are some of the most popular meat substitutes preferred by vegans and vegetarians alike. They are popular for their soft meat-like texture and blend very well in recipes when substituted for meat. Teriyaki Tofu or Teriyaki Tempeh, modeled after the very popular Teriyaki Chicken, has taken the vegan world by storm. 

These meat substitutes are vegan friendly, often gluten free, and allergy free to a great extent, as well. Their adaptability in different dishes, from savory to sweet, has contributed to their growing likability. We must add that tofu, tempeh, and seitan are all traditionally eastern ingredients which have slowly seen acceptance in the West. On a nutritional note, these meat substitutes made from soy and wheat-gluten are excellent sources of protein.

What’s the difference between Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan?

All three, tofu, tempeh, and seitan, are made from plant-based ingredients but have consistent differences in taste and texture. All three are some of the best sources of protein in a vegan and vegetarian diet.

  • Tofu is made of condensed soy milk which is then pressed into solid white blocks. It is coagulated either with nigari or calcium, with the coagulant used making slight differences in the nutritional content of the final tofu product. They are produced in different textures, such as silken tofu, firm tofu, and extra firm tofu.
  • Having originated from Indonesia, the earliest mentions of tempeh date back prior to the 1800s. Tempeh is made by letting lightly cooked whole soybeans ferment and then setting it into a dense block. It has an earthy, nutty flavor, richer than that of tofu. It can be crumbled to use as a substitute for minced meat, or cut in thin strips to make vegetarian bacon. It can also be diced and chopped to be used in different dishes and is truly versatile, although it can be slightly chewy.
  • Seitan is also a great plant based meat substitute that is high in protein content with a dense and spongy texture. It is made from wheat gluten, and is also known as miànjīn, fu, milgogi, wheat meat, gluten meat, and vital wheat gluten. Seitan has a mild flavor and can retain flavors of any recipe. Therefore, it can be easily substituted for meat or other meat-based dishes. 

Similar: The Only Vegan Guide You Will Need

Ten Delicious Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan Recipes

1) Tex-Mex Tofu Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa is very rich in protein and dietary fiber. In this recipe, it is mixed with a flavorful and freshly made cilantro and lime dressing. Then tofu that is seasoned and cooked in a pan is paired with the quinoa, topped with veggies like carrots and avocado. This dish has the crunch of the veggies, the graininess of the quinoas, and the crispness of the tofu.

2) Teriyaki Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan

Teriyaki is best defined for its flavored glaze of soy sauce paired with mirin or sake and sometimes garlic and ginger. Tofu is cooked in the sauce with bold flavors to create a vegan and vegetarian version of the teriyaki chicken. Alternatively, tofu can be swapped for tempeh or seitan. In teriyaki tempeh, maple syrup may be added for sweetness. And for teriyaki seitan, the plant-based substitute is broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce and sake or mirin, flavored with aromatics. The Teriyaki tofu, tempeh and seitan are a staple of Asian vegan recipes.

Teriyaki Tofu by Nymble.
                 Teriyaki Tofu, made by Nymble.

3) Tofu and Tempeh Stir Fry

Partially cooked tempeh and tofu is used with a blend of different vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, garlic, shallots, asparagus, and are slightly charred in a neutral oil. Then, a sauce (such as the peanut butter sauce) is used to flavor the stir fry. It's a classic that can never go wrong and is highly customizable. 

Why are plant-based ingredients so easy to swap for one another?

The recurring theme that we notice is that there are many plant-based ingredients that can be swapped for one another seamlessly, without majorly affecting the overall taste of the dishes. Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan can be swapped or mixed together in many dishes, and in many forms. 

Nymble’s robot-cooking mechanism is also centered around this phenomenon of customization of recipes. We know that different people like to cook differently, using different vegetables, meat-alternatives, sauces, spices, and so on. The ability to customize recipes lets you truly get the most out of the recipes nutrition wise and helps you experiment with different tastes, until you find the absolute best blend of ingredients.

4) Kimchi Fried Rice with Tempeh

Kimchi is a sharp, briny, and fishy mix of fermented vegetables like napa cabbage and Korean radish, akin to pickles. Fried rice flavored primarily by this kimchi and kimchi brine is popularly  called kimchi fried rice. In this version, tempeh is used as protein to provide a meaty, chewy supplement to the fried rice.

5) Cajun Rice and Fried Tempeh

In this recipe, tempeh is fried in a skillet with a neutral oil, and cooked for about ten minutes. Cajun seasoning, usually a blend of paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, pepper, and oregano varies from one household to another. Cajun rice is primarily seasoned with this blend and cooked with a variety of veggies like onions and bell peppers.

6) Grilled Tempeh Greek Salad

This version of the Greek salad gets its tanginess from a dressing of lemon, garlic, and shallot, crispiness from the protein which is grilled tempeh, and crunchiness from fresh vegetables like romaine lettuce, onions, tomato, and avocado. All this tossed together makes a low effort scrumptious meal.

7) Seitan Pasta in Peanut Sauce

This recipe is the perfect pair of the al dente of the pasta with the creamy-crunchiness of the peanut sauce and the sponginess of the seitan. The seitan is grilled or shallow fried to add a depth of flavor and then added to the creamy peanut sauce in which the pasta is later tossed.

8) Grilled Tofu Pad Thai

Grilled and slightly charred tofu is a perfect accompaniment to Pad Thai. The noodles and the seasoning oil with shallots and garlic of the Pad Thai go remarkably well with the tofu. It packs a well balanced fusion of flavors: tangy, sweet and salty. Tamarind is the secret ingredient of the Pad Thai sauce that adds the sweet tang to this dish. And, to top it off with bean sprouts and roasted peanuts, add a wonderful crunch and that extra bit of plant protein. 

9) General Tso’s Tofu

Originally a sweet and spicy deep fried chicken recipe, there are many vegan and vegetarian versions of General Tso’s chicken such as the General Tso’s tofu. The General Tso’s sauce is prepared with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, red chili flakes and sugar. The golden brown and crispy baked tofu is then coated in the same sticky, savory and spicy General Tso’s sauce, making it one of the most delectable and easy-to-make vegan delicacies. 

General Tso's Tofu, made by Nymble.
           General Tso's Tofu, made by Nymble.

10) Mongolian Seitan

A version of Mongolian beef, Mongolian seitan is a must try. Pieces of seitan are pan fried to add crispness and then simmered in a sweet and spicy sticky sauce that is characteristic of Mongolian beef. It goes well when paired with veggies and rice. To ensure that this veganized version of beef remains low-carb, you can use refined coconut sugar instead of the regular one, and reduce cornstarch when making the sauce.

Mongolian Seitan served with broccoli and rice.

Read Also : Gobble Gobble The Vegan Way - Thanksgiving Recipes

Having tofu, seitan, and tempeh in your pantry can transform your vegan or vegetarian journey. Two most common criticisms (or misconceptions) of veganism and vegetarianism is the lack of protein rich options, and its food made out to be dull and tasteless. These ten tofu, tempeh and seitan recipes are perfect examples of how vegan recipes can be scrumptious as well. They’re easy to swap with one another, great accompaniments for many other ingredients and absorbs flavors easily. Most of the recipes listed here are easy or quick to rustle up. However, if you are still pressed for time, invest in a technology that will help significantly cut down your everyday cooking and meal-planning time.

Why is Nymble adding 100+ plant-based recipes?

As we write this, Nymble will have added, programmed and perfected 100+ plant based recipes to its menu. Why are we adding so many vegan options, you ask?

Here’s why:

  • Vegans are confined to limited choices at home and restaurants.
  • Rookie vegans find it difficult to stick to a plant-based diet for the lack of options, higher prices as compared to meat-based counterparts and for the fear of social exclusion.
  • Meal planning and grocery shopping can be a stressful task for many who might not yet be a pro at picking out vegan ingredients.
  • Lack of variety, high price, social exclusion and meal planning woes. These are the main issues we want to solve.
Vegan Festival, Nymble Booth.
People queue up in front of the Nymble booth at The Bizerkeley Vegan Festival.

Our kitchen robot caters to many different diets and lifestyles. The goal was always to provide people with countless recipes to choose from. And, to be an all-inclusive cooking and meal-planning solution for everyone.

Nymble masters these delicious vegan recipes and can make them for you without any hassle, and is designed to be a guide for people following a strict vegan diet, to get the best out of their meals.

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