Orange Tempeh over Udon and Forbidden Rice

Ever have one of those days where you just don’t feel like going out to grab food? Maybe it’s lousy weather out, or maybe you don’t get paid until Friday and it’s only Wednesday, maybe you just need to whip up something tasty to impress some guests or a date. Well, here at Jax Vegan Love, we’re going to start looking out for you in those situations. We will now be featuring our very own recipe section of our blog. Created in our own minds, made with our own hands; stay on the lookout for many more additions to our new recipe listing!

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Feeds approximately two people:
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (about 3-4 oranges)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 ½ tablespoons mirin
½ teaspoon ground coriander (fresh is best!)
2-3 small garlic cloves (garlic lovers, feel free to increase!)
One 8-ounce pack tempeh
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lime
Chopped cilantro to taste

*Ingredient notes and advice
-Florida is an orange haven from November until May; go pick some if you can’t make it to the market or store. I bought mine from local farm and Riverside Arts Market vendor, Down to Earth Farm.
-Mirin is a rice wine, not to be confused with rice vinegar, that not only adds sweetness but luster to sauces while helping them cling to food. I pick mine up from Native Sun. You can substitute sweet marsala if need be.
-Gainesville is home to a wonderful company known as Artie’s Tempeh. Artie makes tempeh that is used throughout our state at various restaurants and local grocers. Down to Earth occasionally sells his tempeh at RAM (I made it too late to get some). Check them out online for a full listing of where to find his tempeh.

Start by adding the orange juice to a small bowl. Squeeze the juice extract of the ginger into the orange juice. This can be done with a cheesecloth, a mesh strainer, or simply by pressing down on the ginger while in a measuring spoon using an additional spoon of the same size. Discard the pulp or save it for a smoothie! Add the tamari or soy, mirin, maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Stir the ingredients well using a small whisk or a fork and set-aside for now.

Slice the tempeh into bite-sized pieces of your liking. I like to slice it into small squares and cut each of those into two triangles. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and fry until golden brown, then flip. Time will vary depending on how you cut the tempeh but typically takes between three and five minutes. Once lightly pan-fried, pour the orange juice mixture into the pan. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, flipping the tempeh occasionally. Near the end of cook time the sauce will reduce to a thick glaze. Remove tempeh from heat and serve with remaining sauce poured over top along with the lime and fresh cilantro. Your tempeh is ready to feast on!

Pairing and sides are endless; don’t be afraid to try something new. I served mine over udon noodles, forbidden rice, and lightly sautéed swiss chard. Udon is a wheat flour noodle used heavily is Asian cuisine. Cook the noodles like you would spaghetti for 6-8 minutes. Once tender, you can serve hot or rinse immediately under cool water for a refreshing experience on those hot days. Forbidden rice, which is the cool name for black rice, is an ancient Chinese rice that is loaded with amino acids, iron, fiber, zinc, and countless other vitamins. Simply combine 1 cup of rice with 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover, then simmer for approximately thirty minutes before checking. Once the rice is fluffed to your liking, allow to steam in the pot (take it off the heat!) for ten minutes before serving. Next, I chopped a couple swiss chard leaves I picked up from Down to Earth and lightly sautéed them in a teaspoon of coconut oil. Finally, I topped mine off with a little Thai chili sauce to add some heat but this can be omitted if you aren’t a fan of feeling the burn while you eat.

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JVL Ingredients

JVL Saute (1)

JVL Swiss Chard

JVL Forbidden Rice

JVL Udon

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JVL Plating1

Food is art; don’t be afraid to break the recipe’s rules.