Serves 4 to 6
Recipe comes courtesy of Tal Ronnen, chef and owner of Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles.
2 cups (475 milliliters) water
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) soy sauce
8 thin slices fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Zest of 1/2 orange
2 packages tempeh (8-ounce/230 grams), cut into 1/2-inch strips
Freshly ground black pepper
cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup (80 milliliters) fresh orange juice
1/4 cup (60 milliliters) bourbon
4 or 5 orange slices, halved
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (optional)
In a saucepan, combine the water, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the tempeh in the marinade and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the marinade, reserving the marinade liquid. Sprinkle the tempeh with salt and pepper to taste, then dredge it in the flour.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh, in batches if necessary, and cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Gradually stir in the reserved marinade. Add the agave, thyme, orange juice and bourbon. Top the tempeh with the orange slices. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the tempeh from the pan and transfer it to a serving platter. Keep warm. If you want a thicker sauce, add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, to thicken the sauce. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Spoon the sauce over the tempeh and serve hot.