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Tempeh with Lotus Root and Sauerkraut

This is a classic macrobiotic main course that combined tempeh with lotus root, with its lovely potato-like texture and the delicate tartness of sauerkraut, which helps us digest the protein and fat of the pan-fried tempeh.

8 ounces tempeh, 1-inch cubes 
avocado oil for frying 
1 onion, thick wedge cut 
1/4 head green cabbage, shredded 
1 small lotus root, halved lengthwise, 1/8-inch thick slices 
spring or filtered water 
1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained well, rinsed if too salty 
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated, juice extracted 
soy sauce 
1-2 teaspoons kuzu, dissolved in small amount cold water 
small handful fresh parsley, minced for garnish 

Cube tempeh. Heat about an inch of oil in a deep skillet, over medium heat, to thoroughly warm. When the oil is hot (when wooden chopstick tips, submerged in the oil, draw lots of tiny bubbles around them, the oil is hot enough to fry), shallow-fry tempeh until golden brown. Drain on paper and set aside. Layer onion, cabbage, lotus root and fried tempeh in a deep skillet. Add water to accumulate 1/2 -inch in the pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cabbage is quite limp, about 15 minutes. Add sauerkraut, ginger juice and season lightly with soy sauce (lightly, remember the salt in the sauerkraut). Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes more. Stir in dissolved kuzu to form a thin glaze over the stew. Transfer to a bowl and serve garnished with parsley. 

Makes 4-6 servings.  


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