Crispy Southern Fried Tempeh

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October! There is something truly magical about October. Philosophers and poets have lauded it and the falling leaves applaud its arrival. Did you also know that October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and the kick off of Vegetarian Awareness Month? REAL is here to help with delicious recipes, helpful videos, informative interviews, and more! Why not kick off Vegetarian Awareness Month with this comfort food recipe for Crispy Southern fried Tempeh, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Peas. This recipe was inspired by Chef Roberto Martin. Listen to our REAL interview with Chef Martin.

Two 8 oz packages of Marinated Tempeh
1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon salt
1 cup non dairy yogurt
1 cup non dairy milk
1 package spring roll wrappers (rice paper)
High heat oil for deep frying (about 2 cups of either grape seed oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, etc.)

Have all the ingredients ready to go before you start.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder and salt until well incorporated.

Take the cooled tempeh and brush off any remaining herbs. Cut in thirds so that you have six pieces. Place the tempeh on a plate and set to one side.

Put the “skin” on the tempeh.
Select a dish or pan that is large enough for the rice paper to lie flat inside. Inspect each rice paper carefully and discard any sheets that have holes or cuts. Add about 1 cup of very warm water to the dish or pan and soak 1 sheet of rice paper for about 20 seconds, or until the paper is softened but has not become completely soft.

Place the rice paper on a cutting board and rub it gently with your wet hands to flatten it and work in more water if needed.

Place a tempeh piece on the rice paper, slightly below the center, working from the edge closest to you. Pick up the edge closest to you and fold the rice paper up and over the tempeh.

Fold the right and left sides toward the center.

Working from the edge closest to you, gently roll up the tempeh burrito style.

Repeat the process with the remaining tempeh.

Lightly dust a sheet pan with a little of the seasoned gluten-free flour.

In a pie plate, mix the non dairy yogurt and milk together. Roll a tempeh patty in the flour, then in the non dairy yoghurt/milk mix and in the flour again. Place on the floured baking sheet and repeat this process with all the tempeh.

A cast-iron skillet performs best for frying the tempeh but if you don’t have one, use a heavy bottomed pan with sides that are at least 3 inches high. Pour enough oil into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the tempeh. Heat the oil over medium heat until it looks thin like water and shimmers.

Using metal tongs, pan fry 3 pieces at a time, for about 2 1/2 minutes per side. Do not turn the pieces more than twice. Transfer the fried tempeh to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack or lined with a clean tea towel. Repeat the process with the remaining tempeh.

Serve warm with garlic mashed potatoes and peas.

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