The Washington Post

Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tempeh

Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tempeh 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jan 7, 2015

Pumpkin seeds amp up tempeh's earthy, nutty qualities. Marinating the tempeh before pan-frying softens and seasons it.

If you aren't vegan, you can substitute 2 eggs for the egg replacer/water combination used to coat the tempeh before coating it in the nut mixture.

Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes, winter squash or other root vegetables.

Make Ahead: The marinated, drained tempeh can be refrigerated for up to 5 days before it is coated in the nut mixture and pan-fried.

6 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6-8 servings

  • Two 8-ounce blocks plain tempeh
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari
  • 1/2 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons powdered egg replacer, such as Ener-G brand (see headnote)


Cut each 8-ounce tempeh block in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half horizontally. Stack the blocks and cut each into three equal pieces, for a total of 24 brick-shaped pieces.

Combine the tempeh, 2 cups of the water, the tamari, ginger, 1 tablespoon of oil, bay leaf and cilantro in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Once the water is gently bubbling, cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; drain the tempeh, discarding the marinade.

Combine the pumpkin seeds, flour, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground. Transfer to a shallow bowl.

Mix together the egg replacer and the remaining 1/3 cup water in a shallow bowl. Working with one piece at a time, coat the tempeh in the egg replacer mixture, covering both sides, then dip it into the pumpkin seed mixture, patting firmly to cover all sides completely. Transfer the tempeh pieces to a plate; let them sit for 5 minutes (that step will help the crust adhere).

Set a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet or platter lined with paper towels.

Heat the 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the tempeh and cook until crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side, transferring the pieces to the cooling rack as you work. (Some of the coating will inevitably end up in the oil; if too much of it comes loose and burns, you might need to pour out the used oil, wipe out the pan and add more oil between batches.) Immediately sprinkle the fried tempeh with a little salt, if desired.

Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe," by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos and Jorge Pineda. CORRECTION: A previous version of this recipe omitted the oil in the marinade.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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