I normally gravitate towards tofu over tempeh when I’m shopping, but this satay tempeh marinade has got me picking tempeh more.

When Michael and I were on our honeymoon in Ubud over three years ago, we were absolutely blown away with the quality and flavours in the tempeh we had there.

Not only were the marinades and sauces amazing, but the handmade tempeh was out of this world! Everywhere we went and tried tempeh as part of our dish; we were savouring every bite.

We noticed the difference between store-bought tempeh and homemade/handmade tempeh. The texture, flavour and overall experience were much better.

So, if you find yourself in that part of the world, I urge you to try the tempeh in Indonesia. You won’t regret it!

I later came to learn that tempeh is actually from Indonesia, so it was no surprise that they made it so well. If only that’s the experience that everyone around the world had when eating it. 

raw tempeh

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What is tempeh?

When I came back and started transitioning to a more plastic-free lifestyle, I started researching how you can make tofu and tempeh at home.

I learned that tempeh is whole soybeans that have been dehusked and partially cooked. From there they’re fermented which glues them together with the mould that is grown.

Tempeh needs to be a consistent temperature when fermenting, so this is why most people tend to opt-out of doing it at home.  

Tempeh can be made from other beans like:

  • Chickpeas
  • Adzuki beans
  • Fava beans
  • Mung beans
  • Black beans

You can also add some other seeds and grains to it like millet, barley, sunflower seeds, pepitas, flax seeds, red or black rice, buckwheat, or hemp seeds. The list goes on and on! 

When it’s made traditionally, during the fermentation process, they’re wrapped in a banana leaf. This is much more environmentally friendly than the plastic zip-lock bag that most recipes recommend you use. I believe that it would give it an extra bit of flavour and make a beautiful serving platter. 

So if you’re thinking of making it at home, try and find a banana leaf to use instead. You’ll also need this culture to make it and some organic non-GMO soybeans. 

satay tempeh marinade ingredients

Where can you buy tempeh? 

These days, tempeh is widely available in most supermarkets and health food stores. If you can’t find it instore, you’ll be able to get it online.

When looking at which one to buy, pick the one that is organic non-GMO and plain. If it’s already marinated, you won’t get the same results in this recipe. 

It’s much nicer to make your own satay marinade then buy it already made. This way, you get to control the flavours and the quality of the ingredients. What we’re looking for is to get that umami richness in the satay tempeh marinade, and this recipe sure does pack a punch!

satay tempeh marinade tempeh in satay marinade

What to serve with the satay tempeh? 

There are so many different ways that you can serve this marinated tempeh. Here are a few ideas:

  • Put them on skewers and grill them instead of cooking
  • Add them to your favourite Buddha bowl
  • With some rice and steamed greens (as pictured) 
  • On top of a veggie stir fry
  • In a sandwich or burger
  • In a salad (swap the falafels for the tempeh)
  • In a wrap (you can use my naan recipe to make the wrap)

satay tempeh marinade cooked

So are you ready to make this super easy one-bowl satay tempeh marinade? Full of rich and delicious flavours with the right amount of tang. 

You can also use this for tofu, seitan, or veggies like cauliflower, eggplant, or capsicum.

Other recipes you’ll love: 

  1. Warm Vegan Lentil Salad with Tempeh (Gluten-Free)
  2. Rainbow Falafel Salad
  3. Vegan Tempeh Reuben Sandwich
  4. Juicy Tofu Sandwich With Smoked Mayo
  5. Summer Kelp Noodle Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know! Would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest

tempeh marinade

Satay Tempeh Marinade

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

This rich and flavourful satay tempeh marinade is super easy to make for a great addition to any meal.


  • 1/3 cup plain peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1/4 cup tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated (or 1/2 tsp ground ginger)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (untoasted is fine as well)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you like spicy food)
  • Juice of half a lime or lemon
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar or 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup of stock or water
  • 300 g plain tempeh block, cut into cubes


  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the tempeh and whisk together.
  2. In a flat glass container, add in the tempeh and pour over the marinade. Make sure that it's all covered equally.
  3. Set it aside in the fridge for at least one hour, tossing the tempeh half way through to make sure it's all evenly distributed. You can also marinade overnight.
  4. In a medium hot wok or skillet, add the tempeh mix and cook for around 8 minutes tossing occasionally.
  5. Serve however you like! Suggestions above.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 545Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 1581mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 19gProtein: 30g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically. The accuracy of this information is not guaranteed.

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satay tempeh marinade

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  1. Masa, what a tasty looking recipe! The measurement for cayenne pepper has 1/4 listed without a unit. I’m thinking teaspoon. Have a lovely weekend!

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