Stir Fry: Green Beans and Tempeh

Vegetable Recipes

I enjoy a tasty and crunchy vegetable dish. When I want an easy one, I often turn to stir-frying (similar to sautéing) things like green beans, bitter melon, asparagus, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, Napa cabbage, carrots, and many more. Cook with a little bit of oil, shallots, garlic, hot peppers, and light soy sauce and watch how the vegetables turn into wonderful delights. When I want something more substantial out of these veggies, I combine them with either Shiitake mushroom or tempeh. Superb!

Green Beans and Tempeh by Harini

Green beans and I go back a long way. Years ago in early college days, days of my first attempts to cook, a friend noted that I cooked green beans a lot. He’d joke and say that it seemed like it was the only thing I was able to do :D. He wasn’t wrong. It was! 😀

Tempeh with Green Beans by Harini

Anyway, in this recipe I choose to mix crunchy green beans with tempeh. Tempeh, a soybeans-based patty, is so versatile and a source of protein. Indonesians use it as their meat substitute. Here in the US, tempeh can be easily found in the organic section.

Ingredient list:

  • 1 organic soy tempeh (8 oz) (cut into four pieces and slice into thin cuts)
  • A handful of green beans (about 2 cups)
  • 2 shallots (chopped)
  • 2 garlic (chopped)
  • 2 Thai peppers, also called as Bird’s Eye peppers (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil
  • ¼ cup of water


  • Heat up a medium pan over medium heat
  • Add 2 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil
  • Brown both sides of tempeh (turn only once)
  • Remove from the pan and set aside
  • On the same pan, use remaining oil if available, if not, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil
  • Add shallots and garlic and let them cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the light soy sauce, Thai peppers, and green beans
  • Stir and mix them together
  • I usually add a little bit of water to help the vegetable cook better (about 1/4 cup)
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for about 5 minutes or until the liquid starts to boil. Taste and adjust.
  • Remove pan from the heat and add the cooked tempeh. Mix everything together and serve with jasmine rice.

Hope you like it!

More favorite tempeh recipe:

Tempeh with Chilies and Vegetables

Chili-Topped Tempeh


A little reflection:

I think of cooking, like writing, as one of my creativity outlets. One that allows flow to happen and take over me for a little bit. Maybe my friend and fashion blogger (and a fellow cooking enthusiast), Leena, would agree that there are some similarities in the process of putting together a beautiful outfit and making a delicious dish. I imagine they both require imaginative minds; attention to texture, colors, feel, and in cooking: taste; and appreciation for beauty. Best of all, they both create enjoyable results!

Cooking might not create flow for everyone as it does for me. Besides, different folks different strokes, right?

So, what about you, dear readers?

What fully absorbs and captures your creative energy?

Tempeh with Chillies and Vegetables – An Easy and Tasty No-Meat Dinner

Vegetable Recipes

Once in a while, Jeff and I do a no-meat dinner at home. Meatless menu isn’t really anything new to Indonesians. Many depend on either plant-based like tempeh or on a variety of seafood anyway as their sources of protein.

I think I’ve mentioned in my other recipe that tempeh is one of staple food in Indonesia. This soy-based patty shows up a lot at Indonesians’ dinning tables along with its partner: the fried white tofu (sadly, I can’t seem to find the same kind of tofu here in the US). Usually, tempeh is sliced, seasoned with a little bit of salt, fried until its light golden, and served with chillies, some vegetables, and rice. I also like it cooked with chillies. We call it sambal tempeh and it’s got both spiciness and sweetness to it. Yum!

Here’s my version. I like to serve this dish with my spinach and corn vegetable soup, crispy baked tilapia , and rice.

  • 2 tempeh patties (usually sold at the grocery’s organic section)
  • 1 bag of frozen peas and carrots (small bag)
  • 2 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 6 hot finger peppers (chopped)
  • 4 Thai peppers (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of sweet soy sauce (substitute: mix two tablespoon of soy sauce and one tablespoon of honey)
  • ½ onion (chopped)
  • Black pepper powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil


  • With clean hands, break the tempeh patties into smaller parts.
  • Heat up the oil in a pan (medium heat)
  • Add the garlic and onion into the pan and let them sizzle for a minute until they turn yellow.
  • Add the tempeh and mix it up with the garlic and onions. Let it cook for a while until it turns light brown.
  • Add the peas, carrots, chopped peppers, both soy sauces, and black pepper.
  • Stir and mix it all up.
  • Cover with a lid and let them cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Serve with rice

Serve 4-6 people