Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thai Tempeh Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

For breakfast and lunch, we have a routine.  I hate routines, but they do make life easier.  For breakfast, we do cereal and OJ.  And I have never been a cereal person.  But Scot's life and happiness depends on cereal.  When he is working out a lot, I can't even tell you how many bowls he eats (we both sit and eat breakfast each morning...at least 20 minutes).  So, basically, I became a cereal person.  We do switch it up, have bagels, oatmeal or something special, but 90% of the time it is the standard.  

Oh, and we secretly eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Sometimes.  Yeah, yeah, it has a lot of sugar.  But you brush your teeth right after breakfast, so it all goes away.  We eat other cereal that literally looks like gerbil food, therefore, it all evens out in the end.  

For lunch, we eat yogurt, fruit, and a main dish.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I swear!  Are we lame?  The main dish is usually some leftovers.  Back up is often PB&J (which I could really live without, but I can choke it down).  Sometimes I do cheese sandwiches (my favorite, not Scot's).  But every once in awhile, I like to spice things up.  Actually MAKE something for lunch.  And a wrap is always a great lunch item. 

This particular wrap is made up of some tempeh marinated in soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey and red pepper flakes with some fresh veggies and spicy peanut sauce.  Tempeh goes really well with Asian flavors.  And these wraps hold up nicely with time and taste great cold.  

Notes on the peanut sauce:  I would recommend using the oil instead of the coconut milk if you want a looser, wetter sauce.  I liked having a thicker sauce for the wraps because it keeps it from getting too drippy.  And also, you can use the rest of the sauce to make the noodle dish on David Lebovitz's website, which is where the peanut sauce recipe is from.  

Thai Tempeh Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

8 ounces of tempeh
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
light cooking oil
4 large leaves of green leaf lettuce
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 small cucumber, seeds removed, julienned
1 package of bean sprouts
1 handful of cilantro, big stems removed.
1 lime
salt and pepper
1 cup of peanut sauce (recipe below)
4 large wraps or burrito sized tortillas

Mix together marinade for the tempeh: soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper flakes. Thinly slice tempeh, toss in marinade and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Heat a nonstick pan or griddle over medium high heat. Drizzle light cooking oil over the pan. Cook each slice of tempeh (drained, marinade discarded) until golden brown and crispy.

To assemble wrap, lay out a tortilla. Smear some peanut sauce on the tortilla (if it is thin enough, you can simply drizzle it over the top in the end). Top with one piece of lettuce and place all the veggies and cilantro on top. Season with salt and pepper and a fresh squeeze of lime. Place tempeh pieces on last. Wrap and roll. Repeat for other three.

(Servings: 4, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 10 min., Difficulty: Easy)

Peanut Sauce

2 cups (300g) dark roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 to 3/4 cup (125-180ml) hot black tea
1/2 cup (125ml) oil, preferably peanut or coconut milk
1 tablespoon (10g) peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 small chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper (if available)
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons chili paste or chili oil
1/3 cup (15g) packed cilantro sprigs or chives
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Put the peanuts, 1/2 cup (125ml) of hot tea, and the oil or coconut milk in a blender. Turn the machine on and let it run for a few minutes until the peanuts are almost smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and let the machine run until the sauce is pureed.

Check the consistency. If it’s too thick for your liking, add up to another 1/4 cup (55ml) of tea.

Storage Tips: The peanut sauce can be made up to one week in advance and refrigerated, or frozen for up to two months. The chicken breasts and the noodles can be cooked and refrigerated up to one day ahead.

(Makes 2 cups, Prep time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  7/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  2/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5


  1. The wraps look great - I am loving the peanut sauce.

  2. I think these wraps look fabulous and the peanut sauce is hard to beat. This is my first visit to your blog and I wanted you to know what a good time I had browsing through the entries on your site. I really love the food and recipes you feature here. I'll definitely be back. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. I was eyeing the tempeh in the grocery store the other day and *almost* bought it. I'm so close, I swear! Do you have a brand you'd recommend?