Shifting toward spring. It’s been warm and cold, windy, sunny, rainy, occasionally snowy. For me, there’s been lots of happy and there have been days where anxiety is hard to shake. Contributing to the latter are all sorts of stresses, both big and small picture. There’s personal stuff, like the fact that our (very elderly) landlady just passed away about the same time that our lease [to an affordable apartment in an extremely unaffordable
neighborhood city] expired. And there are things like this country’s frightening current political atmosphere, which, while amusing, is getting more and more unnerving every day. Laughter helps, as does qi gong, music (latest obsessions: Courtney Barnett, the new Animal Collective, and this dreamy version of The Chemical Brothers’ “Wide Open”), dates with my friends and my man, and good food (bet you knew that one was coming).
*Precooking the tempeh helps to tame its bitterness as well as prep it for soaking up all that good marinade.
*Feel free to substitute bok choy if you can’t find yu choy.
For the tempeh & marinade:
1 8oz package tempeh, sliced crosswise into ¼” strips
1 tbsp mustard (I like stoneground)
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp agave
couple grinds of black pepper
For the rest:
vegetable oil (I used safflower)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch of yu choy, trimmed and chopped
½ cup vegetable broth, plus a bit more if necessary
½ tsp tamari
Rice for serving, optional
- Place tempeh slices in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook over high heat until boiling, then cover with lid, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a shallow bowl.
- Whisk together or shake in closed jar all of the marinade ingredients. Pour over tempeh and toss gently to coat. Let sit for one hour.
- Heat ½ tsp of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When hot, add tempeh. I strongly recommend using a splatter guard here. Let tempeh cook, untouched, for about 3-4 minutes, or until crispy. Flip over all the pieces (turn down heat while you do this) and let cook for another 3-4 minutes. Set aside. Let the pan cool a bit and give a quick wipe.
- Heat ½ tbsp oil in the pan over medium heat. Heat the garlic and red pepper flakes for a minute or two, until fragrant.
- Stir in the yu choy. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and turn up the heat some. Let cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the yu choy, starts to dry out, add a bit more broth. Remove lid, stir in tamari, and let cook for another minute, then add the tempeh. Break some of the tempeh pieces a little as you stir. Serve over rice if desired.
Yield: 3-4 servings