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Chinese Tempeh

Chinese Tempeh

Do you love tempeh? We sure do! This one ingredient is incredibly versatile and there are so many delicious recipes you can create with it. This time around, I have for you a lunch recipe that is simple, nourishing and incredibly flavourful. I call it Chinese Tempeh. 

I often hear people say they don't have time to cook meals that are healthy and yummy. Seems they feel they have to compromise at some point to be able to hop on this vegan-wagon. But, we have options, a lot of them and here we want to give you as many as possible. 

This tempeh recipe is a great way to get you started on this vegan journey. Or if you are already there, this is a great lunch option to make your days easier when it comes to getting fed. You will be amazed by how easy it is to cook and how good it turns out.

Chinese Tempeh ingredients

First of all, we love cooking tempeh in recipes like this one because of all you get from it. It is high in protein, an excellent source of fiber, low in carbs, calories and fats. It also has a bunch of prebiotics which is fiber that has anti-inflammatory effects, helps with cognitions and will help you have a healthy digestive system. 

As you can see, there is so much going on with tempeh. So, to get this meal right we don't need much more. We are steaming some broccoli and serving everything in a bed of quinoa. Both of these ingredients are also nutrient-dense and super healthy. 

We have the healthy and nourishing part sorted. Now, we just need to make it extra yummy. For that, we are making a Chinese inspired sauce for the tempeh. We need ingredients that are already in most kitchens and easy to get.

pan fried tempeh

I mixed minced ginger, garlic, light soy sauce, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, and Chinese five-spice powder.  You can get this mixed remade from the store or you can make the mix yourself. It is just cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and peppercorns. If you find Szechuan peppercorns, even better! 

The sauce is super flavourful but I wanted it to be a bit denser so it would really stick to the tempeh. I added a mixture of cornstarch and water to make it thicker and a bit sticky. This way you get the full experience in every single bite. 

Before I added the sauce, I fried the tempeh a little bit. I got it to a nice golden brown colour on all sides. Whit this, I make sure it keeps its shape through the process and we get a bit of a crispy texture, which I absolutely love! 

Put everything in a bowl and be ready to enjoy this amazing dish. The slightly sweet taste of the sauce goes perfectly well with the tempeh and the broccoli and they will keep your taste buds so very happy!

Chinese Tempeh top down

Prep time
10 minutes
Total time
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Serves: 4
Allergens: Corn, Quinoa, Soy, Tempeh


For the tempeh

  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 454 g tempeh (sliced)

For the sauce

  • 1 tsp chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tsps corn starch
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 78 g light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  • 2 dashes red pepper flakes
  • 79 ml water (cold)

For the broccoli

  • 624 g frozen broccoli florets (unthaw)

For the garnish

  • ½ tsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 2 medium scallion (thinly sliced) (optional)

For the quinoa

  • 255 g quinoa
  • 710 ml water


  1. Cook the quinoa in water until soft for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat up the oil in a frying pan and fry the tempeh from all sides until golden brown for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Steam or boil the broccoli florets until still a little bit crunchy for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Mix the starch from the sauce with water and set aside.
  5. Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients and pour it over the golden brown tempeh pieces.
  6. Add the starchy water and stir occasionally until the sauce thickens.
  7. Serve the tempeh with quinoa and broccoli and sprinkle with the garnish, enjoy!



Did you make this recipe? Please take a photo, share it on Instagram and tag it with #veganio. We love to see your photos.

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