I had a tub of Korean doenjang paste leftover from a stew I’d made, I decided to experiment a little and create these Korean Tempeh Steaks. Doenjang (된장 – roughly pronounced ‘dwen-jang’) is a thick, chunky paste made from fermented soy beans. So you may be wondering at this point, isn’t tempeh also made from fermented soy beans!? Well, yes they both are! That’s where the comparison ends though: where tempeh is all about the texture, doenjang is all about the flavor. Added to the marinade here, it gives the tempeh steaks a deep savoriness you rarely find in plant-based cooking.
Korean Tempeh Steaks [Vegan]
- 8 ounces tempeh, cut into 1 cm thick pieces
- 2 tablespoons fermented soy bean (doenjang) paste (can be subbed with miso)
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- Steam the tempeh slices for ten minutes to remove any bitterness. This can be done in a steamer or a colander placed over a shallow pan of simmering water.
- Meanwhile, mix the doenjang paste, ketchup, paprika, chilli and pepper together into a smooth paste.
- Allow the tempeh to cool slightly then coat in the marinade.
- Heat up the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Place the tempeh slices in the pan. Cook for around 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Drain on kitchen paper and serve.
Doenjang paste should be easy enough to find in any East Asian supermarket or online; however if you can’t find any then it can be replaced with miso paste. Whilst doenjang and miso aren’t exactly interchangeable – doenjang is chunkier, with pieces of soy bean remaining in tact and has slightly more pungent flavour than its smoother counterpart – if you can’t locate doenjang then miso paste is a more than worthy substitute.