Thai Spiced Tempeh Tofu Cakes

Like many people, I love Asian grocery stores, wandering around the shelves crammed with exotic and unfamiliar foods, discovering new ingredients and flavours. I first visited an Asian Supermarket many years ago, with a beautiful Australian Chinese friend, who took me along on a shopping trip and I was hooked. We now live within driving distance of this very store and I was super happy to be able to visit again recently.

So with a cupboard and fridge full of lovely fresh exotic ingredients I was inspired to create something similar to a spicy fish cake but a vegan version of course 🙂 This delicious vegetarian recipe uses a mixture of tempeh and tofu with loads of fresh ingredients and the result is a really tasty little cake packed full of flavour.

You could definitely try using just tofu or tempeh instead of the combination however I found this achieved a nice texture. Most of the ingredients should be available from any good supermarket or of course any Asian or International Foods Market. The recipe calls for a green curry paste so if using a store brought paste ensure you check the ingredients carefully as many will contain shrimp or fish. If you can’t find snake beans try peas or finely diced green capsicum (pepper).

We made slightly larger cakes and served them for dinner accompanied with the Salad of Asian Greens with Szechuan, Sesame Oil and Lime dressing. Alternatively you could make smaller cakes and serve them as a great appetizer or vegetarian finger food with a sweet chilli or Asian inspired dipping sauce.

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Thai Spiced Tempeh Tofu Cakes
Preparation Time: 35mins (+ 1 hour refrigeration time) // Makes about 15

  • 200g tempeh
  • 150g firm tofu
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass (white part only), finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • ½ tsp dried crushed chilli
  • ½ cup fresh coriander (cilantro), leaves roughly chopped & roots finely diced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp vegetarian green curry paste (If using a store brought paste check to ensure it does not contain fish and/or shrimp)
  • 2 tsp grated palm sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut cream
  • 1 tsp white vegetarian miso paste
  • 4 snake beans, thinly sliced (approx 1 cup) (or substitute with 1 cup of peas or finely diced green capsicum (pepper))
  • a little plain flour for dusting
  • Peanut oil for shallow frying

to serve

  • sweet chilli sauce and/or Japanese or vegan mayonnaise

In a food processor combine all the ingredients except the snake beans, flour and oil to form a sticky paste. Taste test a little of the mixture for flavour and seasoning, add more curry paste and/or a little salt if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and combine with the finely sliced snake beans.

Using wet hands, form about one large tablespoon of the mixture into a cake or patty. Place in a single layer in an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Once refrigerated until firm, very lightly dust the cakes on either side with a little plain flour.

Heat enough peanut oil in a good sized fry pan for shallow frying. Carefully fry the cakes in batches until golden on both sides and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Place on absorbent paper to drain off excess oil.

Serve tempeh tofu cakes as part of a main meal or with dipping sauces for great vegetarian party food.

{This recipe was adapted from a Fish Cake recipe found in the April, 2005 edition of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.}


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