Tempeh Nanbanzuke


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.



  • 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 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 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 my first cookbook ” Cooking With Soy
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