tempeh-how do i prepare it?
Deborah Madison has a great recipe in _Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone_ for tempeh in smoky molasses marinade. Essentially, you combine molasses, a bit of soy sauce, fresh ginger, bay leaves, garlic, and some chipotle (I may be forgetting a few things) and cook the tempeh in that, first covered and then uncovered to let any excess liquid evaporate. The marinade really penetrates the tempeh, which you can then make into a really good sandwich.
Besides the Indonesian dishes, you can deep-fry thin slices and put them in a stir-fry or a hot sandwich. My favorite tempeh dish, though, is one I prepare for my vegetarian girlfriend for Sunday breakefast: tempeh, toast, and gravy:
Deep or shallow fry thin (1/4" by 1" by 2") slices of tempeh. Saute or sweat thin slices of button or crimini mushrooms. Toast bread. Prepare vegan gravy:
Whisk 2 Tbs cornstarch into 3 Tbs soy sauce (substitute mushroom soy sauce if available), 1 1/2 c water, 2 Tbs tahini. Heat, whisking frequently, until thickened.
Serve toast, mushrooms and tempeh, all topped with gravy.
Pan- or deep-fry it, and have it with some sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) drizzled over, on rice. You can also add it to a vegetable stir-fry (long beans, green beans, beansprouts or cabbage go particularly well with it), or add it to a sambal-type 'curry' sauce. These are typically Malay/Indonesian methods of preparation. Tempeh, after all, is Indonesian in origin.
Really good recipe for a tempeh ruben sandwich-- right, a traditional ruben but with tempeh instead of corned beef-- is in one of the Moosewood cookbooks. Check the local library, or, if you're really desperate and not in a hurry, email me and i'll mail a copy.
Sounds bad, but it's actually good. The only problem is *ahem* gas-related.