Coconut-Crusted Tempeh


It’s always a challenge to find an ingredient that’s hearty enough to cover with a crust and then develop a method of breading it without eggs or dairy. This recipe tackles both issues. Serve hot over a sauté of bok choy accompanied by a spicy peanut dipping sauce.

  • servingServings


  • 2 (8-oz.) pkgs. tempeh, cut crosswise into 12 thin strips
  • 1⁄4 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger (1 oz.)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 pieces star anise
  • 14-oz. can lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1⁄4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbs. kudzu, dissolved in 2 Tbs. cold water


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large Dutch oven, arrange tempeh slices with ginger, garlic, basil, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and star anise.
  3. In small bowl, combine coconut milk and broth and pour over tempeh. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes (lower heat if cooking too rapidly).
  4. Meanwhile, prepare coconut breading: In medium bowl, combine coconut flakes, bread crumbs, sesame seeds and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt; toss to mix.
  5. With slotted spoon, transfer tempeh to plate. (There should be at least 1 cup cooking liquid left in pot. If not, add more broth or water to equal 1 cup liquid.) Strain tempeh cooking liquid, discard solids and return to pan.
  6. Dissolve kudzu completely in water. Whisk kudzu mixture into strained cooking liquid and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Pour thickened liquid into shallow bowl.
  7. Dip tempeh slices first in kudzu mixture and then in coconut breading, turning to coat. Arrange breaded tempeh on prepared baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Turn and bake another 10 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes, then serve.

NOTE: When cutting tempeh, hold your knife at a 45° angle to get more surface area per slice.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 4
  • Calories: 498
  • Carbohydrate Content: 52 g
  • Fat Content: 22 g
  • Fiber Content: 3 g
  • Protein Content: 28 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 8 g
  • Sodium Content: 1493 mg