Orange Glazed Tempeh


January 16, 2013 by Meg G.

There is something about citrus in the middle of a New England winter that is so wrong and yet, so right. Last week our friends K.J. and Steph shared about ten big, juicy, Florida oranges with us. They had received a case of them as a gift and needed to share the bounty. Lucky us!

Oranges in Bowl

Confession: I actually have a bit of a love/hate relationship with oranges. Mostly, I hate peeling them. I once told a friend that the key to my heart was to peel me an orange. If you share my hatred for getting pith all up in your fingernails, try peeling an orange with a knife. (Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!)

Peel orange

Anyway, you actually don’t need to peel your oranges for this tasty recipe. You do, however, have to squeeze them. If you don’t already have one, I recommend purchasing a cheap-o, but awesome juicer. I mean, you can squeeze these by hand, but you’ll trade half as much juice per orange for a serious hand cramp. In a pinch, you can use bottled O.J., but the fresh-squeezed stuff just can’t be beat!

We opted to steam the tempeh first, helping remove some of its bitter taste and softening it up so that it absorbs more of the flavorful glaze.

This is a quick and simple recipe, great for weeknights. (Like, tonight?) Here goes!

Orange Glazed Tempeh over Couscous – adapted from a recipe by Jude Blereau, via 101 Cookbooks

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sherry
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 small garlic cloves, pressed or diced
  • roughly 10 ounces of tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • a handful of cilantro leaves for garnish

Oranges and Juicer


  1. Cut the tempeh into triangle, bite-sized pieces. Place it in your steamer (or in a colander over top of a pot of boiling water) for about 10 minutes. Set aside when done.
  2. Meanwhile, squeeze the orange juice in a small bowl. Add the garlic, tamari, Sherry, maple syrup, and coriander. Mix together and set aside.
  3. Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden.
  4. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.
  5. Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce, a squeeze of lime, and garnish with cilantro.

Sauce Prep

Cut Tempeh

Tempeh with Sauce


We decided to serve it over some Israeli couscous, but you can put this over just about anything – rice, salad greens, bulgur, quinoa, whatever you’ve got! Next time I hope to try it with wheat berries, like Heidi recommends in her version. And there will be a next time, because this combo of nutty tempeh, sweet orange, zingy garlic and ginger, and fresh cilantro is just too delicious not to come back to.

Tempeh over Couscous


4 thoughts on “Orange Glazed Tempeh

  1. Valerie says:

    It looks wonderful! Tell, me, what is the texture of tempeh? Is it similar to tofu at all? I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to new veg foods unless I know a little of what to expect! 😛 I like beans as well as tofu, and nuts, but I am happily ready to expand my recipes this year with more veg alternatives! Thanks

    • Meg G. says:

      Thanks, Valerie! I meant to mention that you can definitely use tofu instead of tempeh. But if you’re up for something new, tempeh is a great protein option. It usually comes vacuum-sealed and there are a few different varieties – either straight-up soy or soy + some grains. It has a somewhat nutty flavor, but is like tofu in that it soaks up flavors nicely. The consistency is quite a bit harder than tofu (even extra firm tofu); it’s sort of like the consistency of a homemade veggie burger pattie. Hope that helps! If you give it a try, let me know how it goes! -Meg

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