Pho-style soup with tempeh

A new year calls for new endeavors in the kitchen. A product I, to my own surprise, haven’t tried before, is tempeh – the fermented and less processed cousin of tofu. I got mine at my new favorite store, the local vietnamese supermarket, where I got 500 grams for 17 kr.
Inspired by the vietnamese, I set out to make pho, which in my language translates to fresh vegetables, herbs, fish sauce and a nice broth. Since this was a first-try, I didn’t write down any specific measures, so bear with me if this recipe seems a bit ‘winged’!
Starting with the tempeh, I diced it into two centimeter cubes.

Expecting it to be quite neutral in flavour, I marinated it in one part soy sauce, one part apple cider vinegar, two parts sriracha and a little brown sugar.

After letting it marinate for about half an hour, I sautéed it in plenty of sunflower oil. Note that since tempeh is fermented, it contains some spores that definitely could upset your stomach. Some recipes advices you to steam it beforehand, but I just made sure it got enough heat and time on the stove, and crossed my fingers. Worked for me, no troubles here!

Meanwhile I got plenty of water boiling, added some vegetable broth, and chopped up some vegetables. Some pretty green cauliflower and some of what I previously named ‘pointy’ cabbage. I really should check up on that name..

After adding those and letting them boil for a bit, I added some fish sauce and soy sauce, and finally some noodles. In this case glass noodle, or vermicelli. They just looked cool at the store, you could use whatever I guess.

I gave it a taste, added some more soy, and hey there, dinner was ready to be served!
Sprinkled with some spring onions and a dash of sriracha, I must say I was pretty impressed with myself. It tasted like a proper pho – the only slight issue was the tempeh. Its natural flavour wasn’t as neutral as I expected, and my marinade didn’t do a good job of covering it. Next time I’ll leave it longer, and hope it seeps more into the tempeh. Or I’ll just have to get used to the flavour!

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