Tempeh Coconut Curry

Tempeh is terrific stuff. Did you know that as long as you have a bit of that white mould that covers the outside of a block of tempeh, you can make any kind of bean grow together the same way? A rather less sucessful conversation starter, but perhaps more useful piece of information is that it’s also a great as an ingredient in this hearty vegan curry. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. This was basically a clean out my fridge/pantry affair and this recipe should work well with whatever vegetables you still have lying around. Similarly, the quick pickle can be made with any raw, crunchy veggies you fancy. Admittedly, the celeriac isn’t the most obvious, or indeed best, choice for a curry, but, in my defence, it was in dire need of being eaten. The potatoes, however, definitely have staying power as they make this dish filling enough on its own and also do a wonderful job of soaking up those delicious flavours. Feel free to combine them with other veggies of your choice (carrots, or broccoli, for instance). Just make sure to add them a bit later than the potatoes if they require a shorter cooking time. No one likes soggy broc.



for the curry paste:

1 large shallot

3 cloves garlic

1 red chilli, chopped

2-3 cm piece root ginger, grated

2 stalks lemongrass, chopped

1 heaped tsp ground turmeric

1 small tsp ground coriander seeds

a good pinch of Surinam masala or other curry powder (optional)


sunflower oil

for the rest of the curry

200 ml coconut milk

200 ml water

3 – 4 medium, waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered or cut in medium-sized cubes.

Other vegetables of choice (I used 1/2 celeriac, peeled and cut in medium-size cubes)

100 g tempeh, cut in 2x2cm cubes

for the fried tempeh:

100 g tempeh, cut into thin strips

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp coconut syrup (or brown sugar)

for the quick pickle:

1/4 daikon radish, in match sticks

3 slices of red cabbage, in sticks

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp coconut syrup (or brown sugar)

a splash of soy sauce

thinly sliced red chili (optional)

grated ginger



  • First make the quick pickle by tossing all the ingredients together in a sealable container. Put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add all the ingredients for the curry paste to a blender and blend to a paste.
  • Heat a large lidded pan or cast-iron pot to medium heat and fry the curry paste for a few minutes in a bit of oil.


  • Add the potatoes and the tempeh cubes, toss around to coat them in the curry paste and season liberally with salt.
  • Add the coconut milk and water and mix well.
  • Close the lid, turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are done.
  • Toss the tempeh strips with a mix of soy sauce and syrup until the tempeh has soaked up all the liquid. Then put a frying pan on medium to high heat and fry them until brown and crispy.




Welcome to Cuisine d’Eli. My name is Elizabeth and I’m a personal chef and caterer with a passion for sustainable food. I’m based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Contact me for more information and/or bookings.


Welkom bij Cuisine d’Eli. Ik ben Elizabeth: duurzame kok aan huis en cateraar. Meer weten? Neem gerust een kijkje op de rest van mijn website of neem contact met me op voor meer informatie.

9 thoughts on “Tempeh Coconut Curry

    1. Ah, thanks, Adam. I’m glad to hear it :). To be honest, I kind of missed it too. I’ve been missing in action for a while, because I wanted to do more with cooking in the “real world”, so I also started my own catering biz and redesigned my website, but the blog is there to stay.

      Liked by 1 person

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