Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tempeh "Reuben" Sandwiches

Tempeh Reuben Pita Sandwiches
The following vegetarian recipe is based on the original Tempeh Reuben recipe published in New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant by The Moosewood Collective. Unlike the original recipe, I prefer to cut the tempeh into four "slices" and marinate them before either broiling or grilling on my George Foreman grill. This cuts back significantly on the amount of fat. I also use low-fat (but all-natural) Jarlsberg cheese instead of regular Swiss cheese. If you prefer a vegan version, you can substitute vegan alternatives to the cheese and dressing, but because I've never done that I don't know any products to recommend.

My version of tempeh reubens makes two hearty sandwiches, whether served on traditional rye bread (shown in photo towards the end) or in whole-wheat pocket pitas as shown above. Alternatively, you can make 4 open-face sandwiches. Another alternative is to cut the cooked tempeh into strips or coarsely chop/crumble and assemble the reubens using wraps instead of bread slices or pita.


¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp onion powder
8 oz slab of tempeh*
4 slices of rye bread, toasted if desired, OR 2 pocket pitas
Approx. 4 Tbs thousand island dressing
Approx 4 Tbs sauerkraut, well-drained

Use a sharp knife to cut the tempeh in half crosswise, then carefully slice each piece in half through one of the edges so as to make 4 thin square pieces of tempeh that are half as thick as the original slab. 

Sliced tempeh
Whisk together the soy sauce, olive oil, minced garlic and onion powder. Place the tempeh slices in a shallow container and pour the marinade over them. Marinate in refrigerator for one hour, turning the tempeh slices after 30 minutes (I spoon some of the marinade over them after turning to make sure they’re evenly marinated on all sides).

Marinating tempeh
To broil: I place a large piece of aluminum foil on my broiler tray and fold up the edges to make a “pan,” which makes cleanup much easier because I can just scrunch up the foil & discard, rather than having to scrub the broiler tray. Remove tempeh slices from marinade and arrange in single layer on the foil. Place tray in oven on second rack from the broiler element (for top broilers). Broil until browned and crisped on both sides  - this takes only a few minutes per side and you need to watch to make sure they don’t get charred.

Broiled tempeh
To grill: I use my very old but fully-functional George Foreman grill and make sure that the grates are well-oiled. I grill on the second highest setting for 8-10 minutes, then flip over the tempeh (re-oiling the grates if necessary) and continue grilling until the surface is golden & crispy.

To serve in pita pockets: Cut each pita in half. Slather the inside of the pitas with Thousand Island dressing. Place a slice of tempeh inside each pita half, top the tempeh with a slice of cheese, then add the sauerkraut.

Tempeh reuben on German rye
To serve on rye:  Toast bread if desired, then slather two slices with some of the Thousand Island dressing (reserve some dressing). Place two pieces of tempeh on each "dressed" slice of bread, add a little sauerkraut and then top with two slices of cheese per sandwich. If desired, carefully place the "open" reubens on the broiler tray and broil just until the cheese melts (a few seconds). Remove from oven, top with more thousand island dressing and sauerkraut, then complete the two sandwiches with the remaining two slices of bread.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company, Inc.

*Tempeh, a common ingredient in Indonesian cuisine, is made from fermented soybeans and has a naturally "meaty" flavor and texture. It's denser than tofu and can be crumbled and browned in oil to use as a substitute for meat in chili, stuffed peppers, stews and casseroles. You can also cut tempeh into strips or cubes and use in stir-fry dishes and similar recipes. Like tofu, tempeh takes well to virtually any sauce or seasoning. You'll find tempeh sold in slabs at natural-foods stores and in better supermarkets in the same section as tofu and other soy products.

Whole tempeh slab

No comments:

Post a Comment