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Fried Tempeh Sticks with Spicy Dipping Sauce

If your family likes to dip things in sauce, then try this dish on them. As a side dish or main course...or even a snack or party food, this richly-flavored tempeh dish is a hit every time I put it on the table.

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
8 ounces tempeh, sliced into thick strips
1 small bunch watercress, blanched, cut into bite-size pieces

Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup spring or filtered water
1/2 small dried chili, finely minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon brown rice syrup 
juice of 1 fresh lemon

Place oil, soy sauce and rice syrup in a deep skillet over medium heat. Just when the mixture begins to sizzle, lay the tempeh strips in, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the tempeh strips and brown on the other side. Arrange watercress on a serving platter and lay tempeh strips on top.

Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat and cooking for 3-4 minutes, just to develop the flavors. To serve, place the dipping sauce in a small bowl and serve with the fried tempeh and watercress. 

Makes 4-5 servings. 


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