According the recipe notes, this recipe, “Singapore Noodles with Tempeh”, (page 241), is a popular Indonesian dish also known as bami goreng or mee goreng. Since tempeh originated in Indonesia, it makes sense there would be many regional dishes showcasing it.
The preparation consists of four parts:
1) preparing the tempeh (dicing, steaming, and sautéing);
2) preparing the sauce (blending peanut butter, coconut milk, water, lemon juice, sugar, cayenne, and soy sauce);
3) preparing the noodles; and,
4) sautéing the vegetables (bell pepper, cabbage, garlic, green onions, and ginger).
Once the components have been prepared, fresh or frozen peas are added to the sautéed veggies, along with the tempeh and noodles, and finally, the sauce, with everything simmered just long enough to heat through. Top off with chopped peanuts and cilantro, and get ready to enjoy! There are so many complementary tastes and textures in this dish, it’s impossible to attribute the bursts of flavor to any one thing. Each bite unfolds into a delightful, multi-layered, taste experience.
Oil was called for in this recipe for tossing with the cooked noodles, sautéing the tempeh, and sautéing the vegetables. It was easy to leave it out in all instances. Rinsing the noodles thoroughly will prevent them from sticking, but if you wanted to include the sesame oil here for flavor purposes only, used like a condiment, a teaspoon or less would be effective, instead of the tablespoon called for. The tempeh and veggies can be sautéed in water, broth, sherry, or soy sauce.
In lieu of the coconut milk, I used soymilk with a few drops of coconut extract, to avoid the adding this source of highly saturated fat. This is a good way to include the coconut flavor without the fat.
Keeping it “McDougall Friendly” check list:
- Instead of using oil for sautéing the tempeh and vegetables, use a non-stick skillet and/or use sherry, broth, water, or soy sauce as a sauté liquid.
- Instead of coconut milk, use ¼ cup soymilk with ¼ teaspoon of coconut extract.