27/10/2011

Vegan MoFo Day 27 - The Tempeh Conspiracy and Other Stories


Yes I think there is a tempeh conspiracy against me. The first time I ever tried it was this bottled stuff in brine and it was minging. 
Yet so many trusty vegans I know of declare their tempeh love on a daily basis so I've been determined to give it another go. I was pretty impressed when I spotted some fresh tempeh at my local supermarket, so I bought some. That was about 2 months ago. Afore mentioned product has been sitting in my fridge keeping the lone pickled onion company ever since. I didn't know what to do with it and there was that little bit of trepidation based on my last (and first) experience that was also playing a big part in my reluctance.
I PPK'd, I MoFo'd, I even Googled (I know, so primitive right?).
I had enough tempeh teasers in my brain that I felt confident enough to attepmt to cook with it today. 
What had I chosen you're all dying to know?
Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from the AWESOME Isa.
So I opened the package, started to crumble the tempeh only to stop after 2 seconds, slightly confuzzled 'cos this tempeh shatang looks very similar to tofu. I grab the package, double check the label......hmmmmm........tofu sukiyaki estilo al japones is apparently not tempeh but, umm.....well......just tofu.
Determined not to abandon my plans (bearing in mind I'm now craving some fishy fried bredcrumbed goodness) I went ahead with the recipe anyway. I followed it step by step instead I didn't use red pepper and I used regular coarse homemade breadcrumbs.
These came out a cross between a Maccy D's filet o' fish and a fish cake. 
They were so so good. So so fish like. If I hadn't of made them with my bear [sic] hands I'd be screaming that someone had tried to poison me.
Think I'm exagerating?
I'm not.
Pretending that I'd been cleaning out the freezer and found a bit of cod that needed using up, I gave peskytarian Mr treehugger 2 of these for his lunch.
When asked if they were nice his only comment was; "There's too much lemon juice in them." 
Well I laughed because there's no lemon juice in them at all! He meant vinegar (he's a wuss with acidic things, they weren't too vinegary for me).
So I asked him if the cod tasted alright or if it had been in the freezer too long and he said "No, the fish is lovely".
RESULT!!
He would not believe me when I told him they were vegan.
I would still like to try the original recipe though, the way they were intended, but this really was a very happy error on my part.
GO VEGAN!
Go MoFo!

19 comments:

Andrea said...

These look fab, but keep looking for tempeh, it's really good. However, try to use it before two months, or freeze it! :D

coldandsleepy said...

Ha... how wonderful that you made something he likes too. Even if it involves trickery. :D

Tempeh in a bottle sounds bad! The first time I ever tried making tempeh at home, I got a package that was spoiled... but I didn't realize it and tried to eat it anyway. Yuuuuuck. That put me off tempeh for years.

Tea and Sympatico said...

ha ha, that's ace that you fooled him! they sound great though the tempeh in a bottle sounds really scary!

vegan.in.brighton said...

Nice work pulling one over on Mr Treehugger! I love those chesapeake tempeh cakes, they were the recipe that made me decide that tempeh wasn't evil! I might try making them with tofu like you did though because it's much cheaper!

susank said...

Fantastic story! I love successfully fooling non-vegans. It's a shame you can't get fresh tempeh, it's got a wonderful bite to it and it's less processed than tofu. I've never seen it brined, but that sounds really odd.

jessy said...

ahahaha. you are the best, Jeni! such an awesome story of delicious trickery. love it. hooooooray for tasty tempeh success. might i add, dan is a bit of a wuss when it comes to acidity, too. i need to get him to like vinegar, mustard, and sauerkraut. :) i don't think we've made Isa's tempeh cakes before and i cannot wait to whip them up. they look lovely!

Jes said...

I love how you tricked him into these fabulous little "fish" cakes! & hopefully one day you'll get to play around with some tempeh, though that tofu sounds pretty darn awesome!

Jes said...

I love how you tricked him into these fabulous little "fish" cakes! & hopefully one day you'll get to play around with some tempeh, though that tofu sounds pretty darn awesome!

wingraclaire said...

Whoa! I've got to try that! The funny thing is, when I eat something like that I have no frame of reference for whether it "tastes like fish," or chicken, or whatever, not having had the "real" thing in so many years. Therefore I am determined to try those.

And I agree with Andrea. I had tempeh for dinner and WE LOVED IT. And always do, honest!

Jenny said...

I was just saying on my blog that I get freaked out cooking tempeh, just looking at it. But I do love it when others make it for me. I would like the cakes for sure.

Johanna GGG said...

These look so good - I bought tempeh today with no idea what to do with it - sometimes I love it and sometimes it just seems odd! Maybe I should try these fish cakes - though I dislike fish so much that I am wary of anything tasting too much like it

Jeni Treehugger said...

Don't worry GG, I think I went a bit overboard on the nori. I always have some ground up in my fridge and to be honest I think I may have used 2 sheets of it in this recipe! The texture is definitely fish like though
<:-)

Farrah P said...

Those look delicious! I have been craving crabby-ish cakes lately and will have to give these a whirl.
Don't give up hope on tempeh...it was one of those surprise loves for me since going vegan. Learning about what it was I was at first like...hmmm...I don't know but after trying it...I am so hooked. I am experimenting with some tempeh and pecans tomorrow night...if it turns out well it will be posted. :)

Cara said...

HAHA!! Ohmygosh, you need to write a book! I would so read it, Jeni. I've got a bit of ADD when it comes to blogs and so sometimes I don't read the entire posts but when it comes to yours, it is a guaranteed read! I giggled my way through today's post--so funny.

Vanessa said...

These look SO good.

Richa said...

those tempeh cakes look great! and its always so much fun when they come unexpectedly funner!
i cook a lot with tempeh.. its such a flexible and nutritious option!

Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog

Micah Ludeke said...

Amazing! I love it when omnivores think vegan food isn't vegan for some reason. So satisfying! These look fantastic!

tofucottage said...

Ha ha ha! I love feeding unsuspecting peeps with vegan food, just to hear them say how much they love it!

I haven't had great luck with tempeh, but maybe it's because I can't get past the whole fermented thing. The only successful tempeh recipe was Baja Tempeh Tacos from Veganomicon... those babies were delicious!

Mandee said...

I hope that one day you love tempeh. I really miss eating it, my favourite way was in a burger with satay/peanut sauce or marinated and grilled.

Your tofu cakes look really good too!