Tempeh Nanbanzuke Recipe

Tempeh Nanbanzuke

Nanbanzuke is a Japanese version of the Spanish escabeche and contains soy sauce. Basically, you deep-fry and marinate the tempeh, and then serve it cold. This marinade is most popular with seafood; however, I use tempeh. Tempeh has a solid texture so it becomes a substantial main dish. Enjoy this sweet and sour dish.


Tempeh, nutritious Indonesian fermented soybeans cake – easy to digest, great source of protein

Tempeh or tempe is a traditional Indonesian fermented food that is made with soybeans and is a nutritious product that has high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals which can help decrease cholesterol levels and oxidate stress as well as improving bone health!

I don’t like tempeh but I love this. I think deep frying tempeh makes it more edible and marinading it with Japanese flavour makes this dish even more delicious!

Enjoy this vegan and gluten free tempeh recipe!



  • 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and thinly cut
  • 2 packets (500g/171?2oz) tempeh
  • Potato flour (starch), for dusting
  • Oil, for frying

Nanban marinade

  • 160ml (51?2fl oz) mirin*
  • 4 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 240ml (81?2fl oz) rice vinegar
  • 160ml (51?2fl oz) soy sauce


  1. Pour boiling water over the sliced onion. Drain well.
  2. Transfer onion and carrot to a non-metallic dish in a single layer.
  3. To make the marinade, place mirin and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and mix well. Turn off the heat, then add vinegar and soy sauce. Set aside.
  4. Cut the tempeh in half lengthways, then cut into four rectangles to make 8 pieces in total.
  5. Toss tempeh lightly in potato starch and shake away excess. Heat oil in a saucepan over a high heat. When the oil is hot, deep-fry tempeh until it is golden.
  6. Place the tempeh onto the onion and carrot and pour the marinade sauce over it while still hot.
  7. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Tip: You can also use celery or daikon (radish), instead of carrot and onion.

Gluten-free option: Use tamari instead of soy sauce.

This recipe is from Cooking With Soy. Want to learn more healthy Japanese cooking? Grab my Cooking With Soy for real knowledge of Japanese cuisine and easy recipes using soy!



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