One Good Thing #5: Moroccan Chermoula Tempeh

I’ve just spent the last thirty minutes reading a variety of coronavirus-related articles, including recent news from South Korea, where cases have “dropped sharply” without massive shutdowns.

One suggestion: Do not Google “coronavirus positive news.”

I had presumed the search engine would understand the intent of my search. Not so. For all the amazing complexity of Google’s algorithm, Google delivered the exact opposite of my intent: instead of positive news, result after result of people (and a dog) who had tested positive for the virus.

Google fail.

In any case, I had a relatively good day. I went for a run. I spoke to some of my favorite students. I also spoke to my father, my sister, and my friend Henry, a comedian, actor, and longtime restaurant worker in NYC, who had made tempeh for the first time in his life last night–tempeh taco.

I often eat tempeh for lunch, and I consider myself one of the world’s top tempeh advocates. Tempeh is essentially a fermented soybean cake with a unique chewy texture that rivals certain meat products.

I’m not going to make any special claims about the health properties of tempeh (as opposed to other unfermented soy products), but I will say, anecdotally, that I’ve found it to be a delicious, sustaining,  and incredibly easy-to-digest source of plant protein. Also, tempeh has appreciably more protein and fiber than tofu.

Read: “Tempeh vs. Tofu

Today, in the spirit of trying new ways of eating (and using resources), I want to share my all time favorite tempeh recipe: Moroccan Chermoula Tempeh.

This recipe is adapted from Peter Berley’s magnificent book, The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. I’ve made it for public events, for legions of friends and private cooking clients, and, of course, for my family and children, who often trade their precious nuggets for tempeh.

Try it. I think you might like it. And lord knows–the supermarkets aren’t running out of tempeh any time soon. 

Moroccan Chermoula Tempeh 

½ cup extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup water
6 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound organic tempeh, sliced in one-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Combine olive oil, water, lemon juice, spices, cilantro, salt, and garlic in a medium bowl and whisk well. Place tempeh cubes in a 9-inch baking pan and pour marinade over tempeh. Cover with tin foil and bake for 60 minutes.

Uncover and bake for 10 minutes, until browned. Serve with white basmati rice.

(Photo Source)