Simple Salty-Sweet Marinade for Tofu / Tempeh / Chicken / Meat

by Simla on February 18, 2009

This salty-sweet marinade is great for tofu, tempeh, chicken, or red meat. I’ll use tempeh as the ingredient here.

Delicate layers of tempeh

Delicate layers of tempeh

1 package tempeh of your choice (pick a gluten-free one), cut into 1/5″ strips
1/4 cup tamari (soy sauce without wheat)
1 TBS chopped fresh gingerroot (in a pinch, can use 1 tsp ginger powder)
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped finely (depends on how garlicky you like it)
2-3 TBS mirin (sweet rice vinegar) or 1 TBS raw honey
1-2 TBS sesame seeds
Optional: hot sauce or hot red pepper flakes for some spicy kick, to taste

Use oven-safe cookware for this recipe. Glass (such as Pyrex) is best for this. A bread pan size does well.


1. Combine tamari, gingerroot, garlic, mirin or honey, and sesame seeds in a small jar and shake vigorously until mixed well.
2. Cut tempeh into 1.5″ strips and coat with marinade in your oven-safe pan. Let it marinate for at least 10 minutes, and up to several hours if you have the time.

To cook
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place dish into oven, let it bake for 10-15 minutes.
3. Remove from oven, drain the extra liquid, trying to keep the garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds in. At this point, you may want to add up to 1 TBS more of mirin.
4. Add about 1 TBS refined sesame oil (vegan) or ghee or coconut oil (vegan) to a warmed pan. Let the oil warm up on low medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add and saute the tempeh until crispy on both sides and cooked through.

The tempeh can serve as the main attraction and be accompanied by greens, beans, grains, vegetables, or used in a salad of mixed greens (get creative with added ingredients!) with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Curious to learn more about tempeh? Check out this informative site:

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