These BBQ tempeh burgers are easy to prep, nutritious, flavorful and a great plant-based meat alternative ready for grilling season.

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a soy-product originating from Indonesia and Southeast Asian cuisine. It is made by binding whole soaked and partially cooked soybeans, sometimes along with whole grains, together into a dense bar through culturing and fermentation with Rhizopus oligosporus, a fungus starter. The whole bean form and fermentation process gives tempeh a firm texture, earthy taste and higher amounts of protein, fiber and other nutrients compared to tofu. I prefer locally made tempeh compared to supermarket brands, because it tastes fresher and has a more aged flavor, but whichever you have access to will work.

How to Prep and Use Tempeh

Tempeh is ready to eat as is without cooking. Steaming or boiling tempeh prior to cooking it can help to neutralize the earthy taste. This also softens it to allow more flavor from whatever you season or marinate it with to soak through the surface. Dry spice mixes or sauces are a great option. I particularly like to use BBQ sauce when wanting that flavor in a plant-based alternative like these BBQ tempeh burgers, recipe below! After the optional steaming or boiling, they can be pan cooked, baked or grilled just until browned and heated through. Tempeh can also be sliced, chopped or crumbled up and added into stir fries, salads and many other dishes in place of meat.

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BBQ Tempeh Burgers

These BBQ tempeh burgers are easy to prep, nutritious, flavorful and a great plant-based meat alternative ready for grilling season.

  • Author: Cedric Torres
  • Cook Time: 2
  • Total Time: 2
  • Yield: 2 burgers 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8oz block organic soy tempeh
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 hamburger buns

Instructions

On Stove-Top

  1. Cut tempeh block in half and steam or boil in a pot for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the tempeh, dump out the water, add the BBQ sauce to the pot, bring to a simmer and add the tempeh.
  3. Cook the tempeh in the sauce for 5 to 10 minutes, turning it over half way through and moving it around in the sauce to keep it evenly coated.
  4. Make your burgers and eat or store the tempeh in a container in fridge soak up more of the BBQ sauce flavor overnight to eat in the following days. 

On Grill

  1. Cut tempeh block in half and steam or boil in a pot for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Coat the tempeh evenly in the BBQ sauce and place on grill or preferably let marinate for some time to soak up the flavor prior to placing on the grill to cook just until browned on both sides.
  3. Make your burgers and eat. I topped mine with lettuce and onion.

Notes

The BBQ tempeh can also be baked in oven.

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