This flavor-packed tempeh stir fry with veggies and brown rice is high in protein, low in fat, and satisfying. It's gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free, and vegan.
What you need to make this tempeh stir fry
- Brown rice
- Red bell pepper
- Baby bok choy
- Green onion
- Stir Fry Sauce
- Sesame seeds (optional for topping)
This tempeh stir fry uses a stir fry sauce without soy sauce to keep this recipe low fat and reduced sodium. The sweet and tangy sunflower butter sauce and peanut sauce are tasty, too but will have higher fat content because of the sunflower seeds and peanuts.
There are different varieties and brands of tempeh on the market. I used Lifelight (original) for this recipe, but other brands and (some) other varieties will work fine. For example, Lifelight also makes a 3-grain and flax tempeh, which is okay to use. However, I would avoid flavors like Buffalo and smoky bacon. When in doubt, get the plain kind because the stir-fry sauce provides all the seasoning you need in this recipe.
I used cremini mushrooms in this recipe, but you could easily use white button, shiitake, portobello, enoki, or oyster.
The brown basmati rice gives this stir fry a lovely light texture and fragrance. However, I've made this with long-grain and short-grain brown rice, which are also delicious. You can also substitute with brown or black rice noodles. So, use whatever you have on hand or prefer.
I recommend slicing or chopping the carrots into matchsticks or thin bite-size pieces. If you chop them too thick, they take a while to cook. I used a yellow onion, but red onion works excellent too. Finally, the sweet red bell pepper could easily be swapped out for yellow, orange, or green.
How to prepare
Start by making the brown rice according to package instructions on the stovetop or in a rice cooker. Once the rice is cooked, set aside.
Prepare the tempeh by cutting it into bite-size cubes. In a medium pot, add about an inch of water and turn up the heat to high. Carefully insert a steamer basket. Add tempeh chunks to the basket and steam for 5 minutes. Steaming helps the tempeh to absorb the flavor goodness of the stir fry sauce. Immediately add the tempeh to a mixing bowl and coat with the stir fry sauce. Set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
While tempeh is marinating, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts to brown.
Add chopped carrots and mushrooms to the pan and stir to incorporate. Cook with the lid on for about 2 to 3 minutes. This allows the water to release from the mushrooms. Remove the lid and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chopped red bell pepper and stir as you continue to cook the veggies for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the tempeh with marinade stir fry sauce to the skillet with the veggies. The sauce will naturally deglaze the pan. Stir well to incorporate, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chopped baby bok choy and put the lid on to steam for 2 to 3 minutes. The green part of the baby bok choy will become bright green and tender, while the white part will still give you a nice crunch. Stir the steamed baby bok choy into the tempeh and veggie mixture.
If you have any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, be sure to use a wooden spoon to get those up and incorporate them into the sauce. There's good flavor in those brown bits.
Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the chopped green onion.
Dish up some cooked brown rice along with tempeh, veggie, and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using) and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Tempeh is like a blank canvas. To make tempeh taste good, you need a flavorful sauce or marinade.
Yes, steaming tempeh before cooking is recommended. It's like getting a facial. When steam comes into contact with your face, your pores open up. The same happens with tempeh. It softens and is better able to absorb the flavor of the sauce or marinade you're trying to infuse.
You don't have to marinate tempeh, but it's recommended to infuse flavor. It doesn't take long. Typically 10 minutes is sufficient time to marinade, but be sure to steam the tempeh first.
Possibly, but only if its unpasteurized.
Yes, tempeh is healthier than tofu because it's fermented soy, which is beneficial for gut health. It's also a higher source of protein and fiber. So between the two, tempeh wins out over tofu. However, if you like tofu, continue enjoying that too. It makes a delicious veggie scramble as well as sofritas. Yum!
Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze this stir fry for up to four months. I recommend portioning it out into meal prep containers before freezing so reheating is a breeze.
If you want more tempeh in your life, check out the BBQ Tempeh.
We hope you love this stir fry recipe as much as we do. Please rate and leave a comment below. Be sure to share a picture on Instagram and tag us @danielsplaterecipes so we can see your creation!Print
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