Well here we are back in sunny Brisbane and wow what beautiful coolish summer weather it is for this time of year in South East Queensland. As much as we miss New Zealand it is wonderful to be back in Australia and I’m really excited to start cooking and sharing food with family and friends again and here on Veggie num num too!!
We are super lucky to be temporary living right next door to Cam’s lovely parents so I figured we should whip up a veggie recipe that would be great to cook on the BBQ and that we could all enjoy. There is nothing more Australian than a summer BBQ and these Peppery Tempeh Skewers are perfect for a casual lunchtime or evening meal with family and friends.
The Asian fusion flavours work wonderfully with the crisp salad accompaniments and make great vegetarian entertaining food. For a warm dish you could serve the tempeh sticks with a big bowl of rice and Asian greens instead.
Lay all the accompaniments out on the table and allow people to make up their own lettuce cups with the noodles, cucumber salad and peppery tempeh, so good!
Preparation time: 45mins
Serves 4 as a main 6 as an appetizer
- 12 bamboo skewers
- 600g (21oz) tempeh
- 3 tbs peppercorn medley (I used a mixture of black, green, pink and Szechuan peppercorns)
- 1-2 tsp rock salt
- 4 tbs apricot or plum jam
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 2 limes, zest & juice
- 1-2 baby cos lettuce
- 200g (7oz) vermicelli (bean thread) noodles
- 1 continental cucumber, finely sliced
- 2 large tomatoes, finely sliced
- ¼ cup raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs basil or Thai basil, roughly chopped
- 1 lime, juice only
- 1-2 tbs sesame oil
- 1 tsp raw sugar
Soak the bamboo skewers in plenty of water for about 15 minutes, set aside.
Place a dry frypan over a medium heat, add the peppercorns and cook tossing frequently for a few minutes until the peppercorns are fragrant.
Using a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle grind the peppercorns and rock salt until fine.
Add the salt & pepper mixture to the jam, garlic, soy sauce, lime juice and zest in a large bowl; combine to form a sticky paste. Crumble the tempeh into chunks and toss through the marinade.
Thread the chunks of tempeh onto the bamboo skewers and place side by side in a sealable container, pour over remaining marinade and cover with the lid. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30mins until you are ready to BBQ.
To make the cucumber salad combine the lime juice, sesame oil and sugar together in a small bowl. Arrange the cucumber and tomato on a platter or in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the chopped herbs and cashews, drizzle over the dressing and toss gently to combine. Keep cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Prepare the vermicelli noodles according to the packet instructions, rinse well under cold water, drain and chop into 5cm/1inch pieces.
Wash the baby cos well, remove the steams and break the lettuce into individual lettuce leaves; arrange in a large bowl. Set aside both the noodles and lettuce cups in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Heat the grill or BBQ to a medium-high heat add the tempeh sticks and cook, turning often for 5-10 minutes until cooked through and slightly blackened on the edges.
Serve the tempeh skewers with accompaniments allowing everyone to make up their own lettuce cups. To eat remove the tempeh pieces from the skewers and adding a small amount of cucumber salad, noodle and tempeh at a time, roll up individual lettuce cups and enjoy!!
For a warm dish serve the tempeh skewers with steamed rice and Asian green vegetables.
This vegetarian recipe was adapted from Vietnamese Peppery Chicken found in Easy Good Food by Clare Ferguson.
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