Tempeh skeptics, this recipe will make a convert of you: Crumbling tempeh into ripping-hot oil makes for odd-size bits and pieces that are crispy, golden brown, and—especially when glazed with a spicy-sticky sambal sauce—addictive. You can make the crumbles on their own for topping salads and stir-fries, but we recommend you incorporate them into these peanutty, soy-spiked noodles, where they add flavor and texture.
from Bon Appétit.
- 3 Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced into half moons
- Kosher salt
- 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- ¼ cup vegetable, grapeseed, or other neutral oil, divided
- 1 1½” piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (natural is fine as long as it’s well stirred)
- 2 Tablespoons plus 2 tsp. soy sauce, divided
- 1 Tablespoons sambal oelek or Sriracha, divided
- 2 teaspoons honey, divided
- 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled into walnut- to chickpea-size pieces
- 10 ounces dry or 15 ounces fresh ramen noodles
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- Torn cilantro leaves and lime wedges (for serving)
- Place cucumbers in a small bowl. Add several pinches of salt. Massage cucumbers with your hands, gently at first, then squeezing more firmly as they become more pliable. Pour off any liquid they release, then add 1 Tbsp. lime juice and toss to coat. Season with salt, if needed.
- Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook ginger and garlic, stirring constantly, until softened, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. sambal oelek, 1 tsp. honey, and ⅓ cup hot water. Whisk to combine, adding 1 Tbsp. hot water at a time if needed, until a thin sauce forms. Season with salt.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add tempeh in a single layer, season with salt, and cook, undisturbed, until deeply browned, about 2 minutes. Toss, add 1 Tbsp. oil, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 3–5 minutes.
- Stir remaining 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sambal oelek, 1 tsp. honey, and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Reduce heat to low, add lime juice mixture to pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated, 1–2 minutes. Transfer tempeh to a plate; season with salt.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until chewy but not squishy (taste for doneness), 5–6 minutes. Drain, then rinse with warm water. Drain well again and toss with remaining 1 tsp. oil in colander. Add noodles to bowl with peanut dressing and toss to coat, adding more hot water to thin sauce if needed.
- Divide noodle mixture among bowls. Top with tempeh crumbles, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing alongside.