Sweet Orange Tempeh Stir-Fry in One pan, 30 minutes, and the Low-Down on Soy
Like orange chicken, this tempeh has a sweet orange and subtly spicy sauce that is SO GOOD and made with real oranges! But unlike traditional orange chicken, this version is incredibly healthy and nourishing. If you look at the ingredients in most orange chicken recipes, it’s low quality chicken meat breaded with chemical flours, fried in heavy oils, then covered in a sauce made of high-fructose corn syrup, red dye, and artificial flavors and colorings. NOT HEALTHY, and mostly not real food. Give this recipe a try and see how good this healthy real-food Asian dish tastes!
Yields 4 Servings
This healthy recipe was inspired by Skinny Taste Orange Chicken Makeover, but with my own changes and substitutions to make it both vegan and gluten-free.
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium veg broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (Tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar or raw honey (I like the flavor of the honey better)
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- 1 tbsp sriracha, or more or less to taste
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder or non-GMO corn starch
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1-inch grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 2 tbsp chopped green onion
- 1 brick of Original Tempeh, sliced in 1/2" pieces
- 1 bag(~3 cups)frozen stir-fry veggies(broccoli, snap peas, water chestnuts, and carrots)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds, as garnish
- Dragon sauce or red chili flakes, for extra spice, optional
- Mix the orange sauce ingredients and put the chopped tempeh in the in sauce to marinate while you cook the stir-fry.
- Heat a wok on high heat, add the sesame oil. Quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the frozen stir-fry veggies and cook for 4 minutes until thawed.
- Add the orange zest, then add the tempeh and sauce to the pan.
- Quickly stir and cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Garnish with the green onion and sesame seeds. Add extra hot spices or sauce as desired. (I like it to have some zing, my kids, not so much).
Try this sauce out on organic lean chicken or pork, if you’d rather, but having a few good meatless dinner entrees in the meal rotation is always a good option.
Why Tempeh and what the heck is it? I’ve talked about my love for tempeh before, but here’s why. Its so versatile and firm, makes a great meat substitute, requires no pre-cooking, contains probiotics, is minimally processed, high in protein, and is vegan and gluten-free (not the 3-grain kind or pre-marinated kind). It’s made from sprouted soybeans that are slightly aged, then pressed into a ‘cake’. I have marinated and baked it, cut it into chunks and put on kabobs, and pan-fried it with a sauce and it’s off-the-hook good. Just don’t take a bite of it plain jane, it doesn’t have much of a flavor on it’s own.
But isn’t soy bad for you?
Most of it, yes! Soy gets a bad wrap because 90% of soy is GMO-produced, which are linked to many health problems because they kill off good bacteria, aka probiotics, in the gut and causes lots of digestive problems. It’s not the same soy that the healthiest people in Japan ate to live such long, healthy lives. 90% of today’s soy is high in phytoestrogens which mimic and mess with levels of estrogen in the body. Also, when it’s overly processed and stripped of enzymes and heated to extreme high temps to form oils and soy protein and soy milk, it becomes an inferior and processed source of protein.
The GOOD SOY
Tempeh is very minimally processed and when you buy organic tempeh, it’s non-GMO and is full of the fermented bacteria that is excellent for improving gut health, probiotics, and digestion. Tempeh is GOOD SOY. It’s a great source of protein and has limited phytoestrogens. See this article all about soy from Dr. Josh Axe, a specialist in food medicine and gut-health.
I personally love THIS tempeh and can find it at most major grocery stores, including Target, Smiths, Kroger, and natural grocers.