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Thai Tempeh Cakes with Sweet Dipping Sauce

(Makes 8 servings)

Lemon Grass – 1 stalk, outer leaves removed and inside finely chopped

Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped

Green Onions – 2 sprigs, finely chopped

Shallots – 2, finely chopped

Red Chiles – 2 fresh, seeded and finely chopped (or to taste)

Ginger – 1-inch piece root, finely chopped

Cilantro – 4 Tablespoons fresh leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish

Tempeh – 2 1/4 cups, sliced

Lime – 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed juice

Superfine Sugar – 1 teaspoon

All-Purpose Flour – 3 Tablespoons

Egg – 1 extra large, lightly beaten

Vegetable Oil – for frying

Sea Salt – to taste

Black Pepper – to taste, freshly ground


Mirin – 3 Tablespoons

White Wine Vinegar – 3 Tablespoons

Green Onions – 3 sprigs, finely sliced

Sugar – 1 Tablespoon

Red Chiles – 2 fresh, finely chopped (or to taste)

Cilantro – 2 Tablespoons fresh leaves, chopped

Sea Salt – large pinch

  • FOR DIPPING SAUCE: In a small bowl, mix together the mirin, white wine vinegar, sliced green onions, sugar, chopped red chiles, chopped fresh cilantro leaves and large pinch of sea salt.  Set aside.
  • In a blender or food processor, process the chopped lemon grass, chopped garlic cloves, chopped green onions, chopped shallots, chopped red chiles, chopped ginger root and chopped fresh cilantro leaves to a coarse paste.  Add the sliced tempeh, freshly squeezed lime juice and superfine sugar, then blend until combined.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and add the flour and egg.  Process again until the mixture forms a coarse, sticky paste.
  • Take on-eighth of the tempeh mixture at a time, and form into rounds with your hands – the mixture will be quite sticky.
  • Heat enough oil to cover the base of a large frying pan.  Fry the tempeh rounds for 5 to 6 minutes, turning once, until golden.  Drain on paper towels, and serve warm with the dipping sauce, garnished with the extra chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

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