Jerk Tempeh: My First Taste of the Tropics

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon Category: Recipe

The other night I decided to experiment with Caribbean flavors in honor of our soon relocation to the tropics.

I made a chili-lime brown rice with jerk tempeh and a side salad. It was delicious! Aside from the tempeh (which marinated all afternoon) the meal came together in minutes. I think I'm really going to like learning all these new flavors and dishes!

& Now that I've got your mouth watering... a confession: I don't have an exact recipe for you. Since I was experimenting with a totally foreign cuisine for the first time, I was tasting as I went along... though I'm confident I can give you the right direction to recreate this dish yourself.

For the tempeh:I cheated and bought commercial Jamaican Jerk marinade and marinated my tempeh all afternoon (I did boil the tempeh for 10 mins first, but I don't know this step is necessary). I reserved about 1/4 c. of the marinade and placed it, along with the tempeh, into my skillet. I then cooked it on high for about five minutes, until most of the liquid had absorbed and it was starting to glaze (this is the method I use for the Teriyaki Chickpeas, for a practical example--watch this video; it's at the end). I then tasted it and decided my tempeh was much, much too sweet. So, I drained off the rest of the marinade, added about 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, a few splashes of teriyaki sauce, several droplets of hot sauce (to my tastes) and a few squirts of lime juice. I then cooked the tempeh a bit longer, flipping it with tongs to incorporate the new flavors. I served the jerk tempeh with lime zest over top.

For the rice: I cooked 1 small onion (diced) with 2 garlic cloves (minced) in a little water until the onions were translucent. I then added about 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp chili powder. I also zested half of a lime and squeezed the juice into it. I stirred to incorporate, added a few light dashes of cinnamon, and then more garlic powder and chili powder, just a few dashes (to my tastes).  I then mixed it all together with some cooked brown rice (about 3/4 cup) and a few pinches of salt over top. Since my rice came from the fridge, I cooked it until it was thoroughly warm, but this is not necessary for freshly cooked rice. 

Anyway, so that's how you do it! BUT we loved this dish so much I'll be making it again soon and will have the perfected (a.k.a. measured) recipe for you. (I may even make my own marinade!)

What foods do YOU think of when you think "Caribbean?" 

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