Recipe: Spicy Peanut Tempeh Bowl

updated May 1, 2019
Spicy Peanut Tempeh Bowls
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Hearty and vegan? Is it possible? Yes, of course! We pulled recipes from a few vegan cookbooks hitting the market this year and asked one of our food photographers and stylists, Maria Siriano, who happens to be vegan, for her thoughts on the recipes.

For this recipe, we turned the tables on Maria and asked her to share her favorite hearty vegan recipe. We love that she opted for tempeh. This lightly fermented soybean patty is full of fiber, protein, and complex carbs that make you pleasantly full. Here’s what she turned up!

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Tempeh is the unsung hero of quick and filling vegan meals. In this recipe, tempeh gets the sweet and salty treatment in a quick marinade that is accented by five-spice powder. Short-grain brown rice gives the meal heft, while the veggies offer a healthy crunch (and some bonus protein from the edamame). The peanut sauce, spiced up with some Sriracha, marries all of the bowl ingredients beautifully. And if you need more staying power, topping the bowl with avocado is highly encouraged.

Spicy Peanut Tempeh Bowls

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


For the rice:

  • 1 1/2 cups

    short-grain brown rice

  • 1 3/4 cups

    water, plus more for rinsing

For the tempeh:

  • 8 ounces


  • 2 tablespoons

    low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    agave nectar

  • 1 clove

    garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon

    grated fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    five-spice powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    peanut or vegetable oil

For the vegetables:

  • 1 head


  • 3

    large carrots

  • 3/4 cup

    frozen shelled edamame

  • 2 tablespoons


For the spicy peanut sauce:

  • 1/3 cup

    creamy peanut butter

  • 1 tablespoon

    Asian sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    low-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    agave nectar

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 3 to 4 teaspoons

    Sriracha hot sauce

Optional toppings:

  • Cashew cream

  • Chopped jalapeños

  • Salsa

  • Hot sauce

  • Sliced avocado

  • Shredded carrot


  1. Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Transfer the wet rice and water to a pressure cooker. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. While the rice is cooking, prepare the tempeh and vegetables. (Alternatively, you can cook the rice on the stovetop.)

  2. Cut the tempeh crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk together the soy sauce, agave nectar, garlic, ginger, and five-spice powder in a flat container or baking dish. Add the tempeh slices, stirring gently to coat the tempeh. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

  3. Cut the broccoli into medium-sized florets and place in a large microwave-safe bowl; discard or save the stems for another use. Peel the carrots and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices and add to the bowl of broccoli. Add the edamame and toss to combine. Add the water and cover tightly with plastic wrap or a dinner plate. Microwave until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes; set aside.

  4. When the rice has finished its cooking cycle and the pot is releasing pressure, heat 2 tablespoons peanut (or vegetable) oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the tempeh slices to the pan and cook on one side until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes on the other side, then remove from heat.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the peanut sauce ingredients. Release any remaining pressure from the pressure cooker, then unlock it and fluff the rice with a fork.

  6. Divide the rice between 4 bowls. Top with steamed vegetables and tempeh, drizzle with peanut sauce, and top with any optional garnishes you'd like.

Recipe Notes

  • Frozen vegetable shortcut: Feel free to substitute frozen, steam-in-the-bag vegetables or vegetable blends. Asian vegetable blends work great!
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.