Tempeh, Broccoli, and Red Bell Pepper Stir Fry

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

This recipe was created exclusively by Kevin Schuder, Executive Chef at Yield Wine Bar, to pair with a bottle of 2006 Red from our featured green wine maker Medlock Ames. Red is earthy with black fruits, star anise, fennel and clove. It is highly structured and a big compliment to the ginger and chiles in this stir fry.

Kevin notes "A lot of people wouldn't think to pair a Chinese stir-fry with red wine, but why not? Flash seared vegetables and meats... or in this case the braised tempeh, go wonderfully with a red. The trick to making it work is to accent the flavors in the sauce that are consonant with the wine, but to back off of the ginger, chiles, sugar, and soy sauce enough so that they play a supporting role instead of creating a dissonance."

Stir Frying Tips

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

The concept and techniques of stir-frying are simple. You are searing foods very quickly at very high heat, which allows you to use less oils and helps preserve delicate nutrients like vitamin C and folic acid.

1. Cut the protein and vegetables to bite size pieces, being conscious of cooking time.

2. Sear the protein first, then add them to the vegetables later when they are almost done.

3. You will be constantly tending to the wok, have your ingredients ready before the cooking process is started.

4. Use the highest heat, and warm the pan for a minute before the oil is added.

5. Cook one portion at a time.

"You won't be able to properly sear all the items if the wok is crowded, and then it's not any different from cooking in a conventional stove pot. Because we are cooking the surfaces of the foods very quickly with high heat, you don't want to add so much that the food is stacking up on itself. If you're cooking for 4 people, it can be a pain to cook the same thing 4 times and clean out the wok each time, but the results are amazing and worth the effort. It's quick and easy enough that you could have your guests each make their own plate! They'll be amazed at their newfound talent," suggests Kevin.

The Braised Tempeh

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

Braise the tempeh in stock, wine, and aromatics for a bit to take out some of the bitterness and impart a rich flavor. You can make extra and freeze it for further use if you'd like. If you want to avoid braising the tempeh, you can just cube it and sear it, but add a little extra sauce to the final stir-fry.

  • 4 6 oz. pieces of tempeh
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1" piece of ginger cut into slices
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine all the ingredients besides the tempeh and give it a good stir.

3. Lay the tempeh in an appropriate sized deep oven pan and cover with the marinade.

4. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 1 1/2 hours, turning the tempeh over halfway.

5. Remove the tempeh from the marinade when it's finished and let cool.

"Because the tempeh will be seared, it's important that it's completely cooled and not too moist. You can use the leftover marinade to flavor the stir-fry sauce or another preparation if you like," notes Kevin.

The Fried Ginger

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

The fried ginger on top of the dish is certainly not necessary, but it helps flavor the oil for the stir fry as well.

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry

  • Large pieces of ginger, peeled and cut into fine julienne
  • 2 cups canola oil

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

1. Warm oil in a wok over medium-high heat.

2. Test the oil temperature by dropping a piece of ginger into the oil. If it immediately starts frying, it's hot enough. Take care not to let the oil get too hot as to scorch the ginger.

3. Add the julienned ginger in small batches and remove with a slotted spoon when the ginger becomes a light golden brown. Take note that it will continue to cook a little after it is removed from the oil.

4. Let the fried ginger dry on a towel-lined plate.

5. The ginger oil can now be flavored further if you would like to fry a couple chiles in it. Just take care not to burn them. When the oil has cooled you can taste it, and add sesame oil if you like. You now have fried ginger as a garnish, and flavored oil for stir-frying.

The Stir Fry Sauce

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

  • 2 whole star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoons whole fennel seed
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup rice wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flake
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

1. Place the star anise, cloves, fennel seeds, shitake mushrooms, and sugar into a small saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 cups of water. Simmer over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Strain and reserve the liquid.

2. Over medium heat, fry the garlic and ginger in the sesame oil for about 1 minute, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the pepper and chile flake near the end.

3. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, and vinegar and let simmer on low heat for a minute.

4. Whisk in the dissolved corn starch and briefly heat to thicken. You may want to add more water or whisk it briefly to get an even consistency.

"I ended up adding a fair amount of water after the cornstarch, because it became too thick. The recipe yielded about 1 1/2 cups," says Kevin.

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

Making the Stir Fry

  • 6 oz. braised (or not braised) tempeh, cut into 1" cubes
  • Small handful of broccoli, cut into 1 1/2" long spears.
  • Small handful of bell peppers, cut into thick julienne
  • 1/3 cup of stir fry sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onions, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (best if infused with ginger and chiles)
  • Rice
  • Toasted cashews (optional)
  • Fried ginger (optional)

1. Have all of your ingredients ready and heat the wok for a minute over high heat.

2. Add a Tablespoon of the cooking oil and immediately add the tempeh. Keep it moving in the wok, being careful not to break up the pieces. Once they have been properly seared, set them aside and clean the wok.

3. Warm the wok again over high heat, add the other Tablespoon of oil, and immediately toss in the broccoli and bell pepper strips. Keep them moving quickly in the wok for about a minute then add the tempeh.

4. Add almost all of the green onions and sear for a few seconds, then add the sauce. Fold the ingredients until they are properly coated, then spoon over hot rice.

5. Top with the rest of the green onion, cashews, and the fried ginger.

Green Wine Guide Medlock Ames Recipe: Tempeh Stir Fry
Photos by Kevin Schuder

Visit TreeHugger's Green Wine Guide for more green wineries, recipes and virtual tours.

Follow the @GreenWineGuide or @JerryJamesStone on Twitter or fan us on Facebook.

More Recipes from the Green Wine Guide
Homemade Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onion and Gorgonzola
Baked Apple Stuffed with Candied Ginger and Almonds
Indian-Spiced Tomato Soup
Seared Brussels Sprouts with a Smoked Gouda Sauce and Freshly Grated Horseradish
Chèvre-Stuffed Dates with Pomegranate Molasses and Chili Oil
More from the Green Wine Guide
Frog's Leap Winery: Saves 10 Million Gallons of Water a Year with Dry-Farming
Benziger: '60s Pot Farm Becomes Sonoma's First Certified Biodynamic Winery
Kaz Vineyard & Winery: Serious Organic Wine for the Not-So-Serious
Medlock Ames: An Organic Vineyard with Mini Cows and a Century-Old Biker Bar
Jacuzzi Wines and Cline Cellars: "Beyond Organic" Winemaking

Related Content on Treehugger.com