Maple Syrup

Maple-Mustard Tempeh With Black Rice

November  4, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Sophie Strangio. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

One bite of this satisfying, nutty, and flavorful dish and both tempeh lovers and skeptics will be asking for the recipe. Lightlife Original Tempeh shines with an assertive marinade and here the maple and mustard—along with some tamari (or soy sauce), garlic, and vinegar—provide just the right intensity.

When making tempeh the beans are slightly crushed, lending a succulent texture, while the fermentation process gives a more pronounced flavor and increases digestibility.

Steaming the tempeh prior to baking allows the marinade to deeply infuse each piece, but you can skip this step and jump right into marinating the tempeh in the maple-mustard mixture if you’re short on time. Once the tempeh is in the marinade, the majority of the cook time happens in the oven; you’ll know the tempeh is ready when all the marinade in the baking dish has been absorbed.

Although I’ve used black rice (also known as forbidden rice) as the base of this bowl you can use any grain you like. The rice is soaked overnight to help reduce phytic acid (a nutrient blocker) present in the hulls. Soaking whole grains also makes them more digestible and I think more delicious! Black rice absorbs a lot of water so if you skip the soaking step increase the water to 2 cups.

Although it’s fast, if you don’t have any time to shred carrots you can simply top the grains with chopped parsley and scallions. The tahini drizzle is a cinch and can be stored for a few days in the fridge—bring to room temp before serving or thin out with water as needed. —Amy Chaplin

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Lightlife, and was developed using their Original Tempeh—made with just three ingredients, it’s a great source of plant-based protein.

This recipe was featured on our cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Amy cooks through this recipe.
—The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the tempeh:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Lightlife Original Tempeh
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

  • For the black rice:
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 3/4 cups filtered water, plus more to soak
  • Large pinch fine sea salt

  • For the shredded carrot salad:
  • 8 ounces carrots (about 4 medium-large), scrubbed
  • 2 cups fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (or ¼ cup chopped chives)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • For the tahini drizzle:
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
  1. For the tempeh: Set up a steamer with a couple of inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut the tempeh crossways in half. Cut each half in half so you have 4 even rectangles. Cut each piece in half horizontally so you have 8 thin rectangles. Stack 2 at a time and cut them on the diagonal to get 16 triangles.
  3. Add the tempeh to the steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Add water, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, oil, tamari, and garlic to a 2-cup liquid measuring pitcher or small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  5. Remove tempeh from the heat. Have an 11- x 8-inch (or equivalent size) baking dish ready. Once the tempeh is cool enough to handle, but still warm, arrange it in the baking dish in a single layer with a bit of room to move. Pour marinade over tempeh and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, gently shaking the pan halfway through cooking to baste the tempeh. Tempeh is ready when all the marinade has been absorbed and the color is golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve warm with the black rice, shredded carrot salad, and tahini drizzle. Any leftover tempeh can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and eaten at room temperature or steamed to re-heat.
  1. For the black rice: Add rice to a 2-quart pot (the one you will cook it in) and cover with 2 inches of filtered water. Soak for 10 to 12 hours (or up to 24 hours in a cool spot).

    Drain and rinse the rice. Return the drained rice to the pot. Add 1 ¾ cup water plus a large pinch of fine sea salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove the rice from heat and set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
  2. For the shredded carrot salad: Grate carrots on the largest hole of a box grater and place in a medium bowl. Add parsley, scallions, sunflower seeds, vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Mix well to combine and adjust salt to taste.
  3. For the tahini drizzle: Combine tahini and water in a 2-cup liquid measuring pitcher or small bowl and stir until smooth and creamy. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, maple, and garlic and stir until combined. Season to taste and serve. Store leftover sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cindy k.
    cindy k.
  • Joemama
Amy Chaplin is a two-time James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and vegetarian chef. Amy's approach to cooking is inspired by nature and the healing benefits of whole food ingredients. Her recipes have been featured in T Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Vogue, among other publications. She divides her time between Brooklyn and Upstate New York.

2 Reviews

cindy K. January 9, 2022
Loved this recipe! The sauce took it to another level. It’s hands down my favorite way to make tempeh, and the carrot salad was a great surprise. Delicious!
Joemama November 19, 2021
I made this recipe as stated, substituting jasmine rice for the black. The flavors are wonderful in the tempeh. The steaming really cuts down on the bitterness that can assert itself in tempeh dishes. Plan to start this recipe well in advance because it does take a good hour in the oven, but it is a simple, hands-off hour. Wasn’t able to make the carrot salad but will try next time. I woke up in the middle of the night and chose the leftover tempeh to nosh on…that’s a good sign of a tasty dish!