Sticky peanut tempeh with cavolo nero and noodles

Having fallen in love with crispy tofu in ramen, Thai curry or nutty stir fries, I decided to give it's closely-related cousin tempeh a try. Tempeh is also made of fermented soy beans, but it's created in a way that binds the soybeans into a cake form. This results in tempeh having a slightly more robust, chewier texture than tofu and far less water content (so no squeezing or pressing is required hooray!).

This recipe is really simple and great for making in bulk to satisfy hungry vegans or vegetarians alike. To make this recipe vegan just swap out your usual egg noodles with rice noodles. The tempeh is marinaded before being fried and then coated in a peanut sauce and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. I've used shaved carrots, cavolo nero and sweetheart cabbage in the stir fry (as I had this lying in the fridge) but you can use pretty much whatever you like from beansprouts, mangetout to sliced pepper.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 generously)


  • 200g tempeh (this is my favourite brand)

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika


  • 65g crunchy peanut butter

  • 3 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (or almond milk for a lighter sauce)

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 1 tsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp chili paste

  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger


  • 180g of rice/egg noodles, cooked

  • 4 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 garlic clove crushed

  • 3 medium-sized carrots, shaved with veg peeler or cut finely

  • 1 sweat heart cabbage, sliced

  • 200g cavolo nero, sliced

  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 3 spring onions, sliced

  • 20g toasted sesame seeds (toast in a dry pan)

  • fresh chives (optional)

  • handful roasted peanuts (optional)

  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped


  1. Prepare the tempeh marinade by combining the soy sauce, sesame oil, ground cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl.

  2. Cut the tempeh into about 2-inch cubes. Transfer to a baking dish or deep plate and pour the marinade on top. Stir to coat the tempeh with the marinade. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins- 1 hour.

  3. Combine all the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl and mix until fully combined. Add 1-2 tbsp water if needed until you get a creamy consistency.

  4. Boil the noodles as per packet instructions and once done, place in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp sesame oi (or veg oil) to prevent from sticking. ​

  5. Heat a large saucepan or wok with the remaining 2tbsp of sesame oil and add the garlic. Once coloured, add the carrots, cavolo nero and cabbage, stirring quickly. Once the vegetables are beginning to cook add the ginger and soy sauce to the pan. Turn the pan off once the veggies are cooked and add to the noodles, mixing well.

  6. Meanwhile, in a seperate skillet fry the tempeh cubes for 2-3 minutes until crispy and slightly charred. Cover (whilst still hot) with the peanut sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

  7. Serve the noodles and veg, topped with each serving of tempeh, the spring onions, peanuts and herbs. If you have extra sauce add to the noodles and mix through.

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