Easy Tempeh Marinade

Do you guys know what tempeh is? It’s tofu’s way cooler (and more delicious) cousin. Tempeh is made of soy, just like tofu, but the beans are left whole, packed into a block, and fermented. The result is a firm plant protein with a satisfying bite and a whole bunch of umami flavour. If you’ve ever had tempeh and decided you didn’t like it, now is the time to try it again. This marinade recipe will convert pretty much anyone into an avid tempeh fanatic. In fact, you might even make some friends with tofu if you let it sit in this marinade. You will never need another marinade recipe ever again. This will be the recipe you keep going back to, again and again. You’ll try to make something else, but it will pale in comparison. It’s that good. And the best part is that with just 4 ingredients, it is THE most simple marinade you will ever make. If you want to be a little fancier, you can add some grated ginger and garlic which creates a flavour perfect for Asian cuisine.

This is the recipe I use for the tempeh portion of my Chickun Pot Pie, but I’ve also used this recipe in my TLT (tempeh, lettuce, tomato) sandwiches with homemade mayo, in Malaysian curries, and I’ve even just grilled some up and eaten it right out of the pan. Because why not, right?

Keep on reading if you want to know the secret to this magical recipe.



  • 1 8oz package unflavoured pasteurized tempeh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Optional ingredients: 1 tsp grated garlic or 1 tsp grated ginger, or both!



  1. Cut the tempeh into a shape that best suits the dish in which you’re using it. I like to cut triangles. To do this, cut the block in half widthwise, then cut each half in half widthwise as well. Cut each of the four blocks of tempeh so they are half the thickness, then cut the thin rectangles into triangles. You should have 16 in total.
  2. Place all the marinade ingredients (except for tempeh) in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Place the tempeh pieces in a shallow dish or ziplock bag and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour (up to 24 hours), flipping the tempeh pieces every so often to ensure they all get covered. The longer you marinate, the more pronounced the flavour will be.
  4. Pan fry the tempeh pieces in batches in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes per side. Pour a little of the remaining marinade over the tempeh as you cook it to create a delightful glaze.
  5. Your tempeh is ready! Do with it whatever your heart desires!


3 thoughts on “Easy Tempeh Marinade

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