Monday, November 7, 2011

Tempeh Bacon "BLT"

Tempeh is made by culturing soy beans and then binding them into a "cake". I love tempeh because unlike tofu it doesn't give me major stomachaches. You see, tofu has sugars called oligosaccharides, which are basically short chains of sugars that most people malabsorb. But the cultures that are added to tempeh actually breakdown these sugars, making tempeh much easier to digest. I love it!

I really wanted to make tempeh bacon after seeing this recipe on Grace's blog. I didn't want to wait three hours though, since I wanted to test it at the demo kitchen where I work, so I found this (quicker) tempeh bacon recipe at Healthy Happy Life. I made it once and loved it, then thought it would taste fabulous as a BLT, but of course I made it with spinach so it should really be called a "BST".

Tempeh Bacon "BLT"

(Makes 3 sandwiches)

5 ounces tempeh (2/3 a standard package)
1-2 T maple syrup
1 T olive oil (plus 2 t for pan)
1 t liquid smoke (plus 1/2 tsp for "mayo")
1 t low sodium soy sauce
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t black pepper
a dash of cayenne

6 slices of whole grain bread
1 tomato
1 cup spinach
6 T plain Greek yogurt


1. Very thinly slice the tempeh. (** I didn't cut my "bacon" as thin as the original recipe. I wanted a thicker bacon, personally, so I made it about 1/4 inch thick)

2. Combine all ingredients in a shallow dish.

3. Soak tempeh in marinade for 2-3 minutes.

4. Turn saute pan on high, add 1-2 tsp olive oil. Lay the tempeh flat on skillet. One layer only. Drizzle a bit of excess marinade onto skillet-it should be sizzling a lot now.

5. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then flip (** 2 minutes if you make it thicker like me **). Allow to cook for another minute on other side-or until both sides are crisp and browned.

6. Lay cooked tempeh on a plate to cool. Sprinkle with black pepper and thick sea salt to taste.

7. For a crisper tempeh bacon, do not pour excess marinade in skillet, and allow all liquid to steam off of pan while cooking.

8. Now its time to build the sandwich! First, mix together the Greek yogurt and 1/2 t liquid smoke.

9. Toast the bread, then spread the yogurt/liquid smoke evenly among three of the pieces of toast.

10. Place some spinach on each of the three pieces of toast with spread, followed by tomatoes, followed by 5-6 pieces of "bacon". Then top with the other piece of bread.


(And I promise, you will enjoy this. I even had meat lovers who liked this recipe when I made it at work!)

Have you ever tried tempeh? Have you ever used liquid smoke?


  1. I have tried tempeh and tempeh BLT - but I've never made my own tempeh bacon.

    I need to try this - I just need to pick up some liquid smoke. Is it with the spices in the supermarket?

  2. I have never tried tempeh, but I have 2 packages in my fridge. I think this is lunch, thanks girl!! :)

  3. Yum! I need to get my hands on some liquid smoke. I've never worked with it before, but I bet it's great for meat substitutes.

  4. Mmmm, tempeh might be my favorite of all the soy products-- I love the texture!

  5. LOVVVEEEEEE tempeh - especially tempeh bacon. ;) Your BLT looks amazing!

  6. This was really good! Just gobbled one up! :) Thanks, girl! I can't wait for Friday...weeee!!!

  7. Mmmm...this post just reminded me how much I like tempheh....and that it's been way too long since I've had any!

  8. I have never tried tempeh! This looks wonderful though, I ought to give it a try :)

  9. No...I have never tried before but WOW you make it look very appetizing and intriguing! Looks like a great summer sandwich with some gazpacho!
    Creative! Are you vegetarian?

  10. hee hee hee. I'm chuckling because I recently wrote a column on fermented tofu...and I'm imagining the reaction of tempeh-lovers when they try REAL STINKY fermented tofu...

  11. I love love love tempeh BLT's. I also love tempeh reubens. Have you tried?

  12. I tried tempeh just to try it out but I'm not a fan. Though, I must admit- this concoction looks divine!

  13. I am so curious to try this Gina! Believe it or not, I've never tried tempeh before (or liquid smoke) so I'm dying to try this!

  14. Yum! I've had tofu before but never tempeh, I'll have to give this a go!

  15. I must try tempeh.... I am so tempted to get up and try this one but maybe later. Your pics are so mouthwatering and I'd really love to try making this on my own. will update you when I get this done. :)Thanks for sharing.....