First, I have to acknowledge the inspiration for this dish. The “Tempeh Tuna Sandwich” at Jivamuktea Cafe which I wrote about earlier this year. The first time I visited Jivamuktea Cafe near Union Square in NYC I had this sandwich and it was a culinary revelation. I generally enjoy tempeh but this dish took it to a new level. If you are ever in NYC, go to Jivamuktea Cafe and try it!!! Not only do I love their menu but their 2nd level cafe space, adjacent to the Jivamukti Yoga Studio, is so atmospheric and relaxing. I love going there.
When I came home, I sought to recreate my own version inspired by theirs and interestingly my husband, who never liked tempeh when I cooked it previously, gave a solid thumb’s up.
This sandwich topping has, to me, that “egg-y” feeling and is definitely reminiscent of tuna salad sandwiches that I used to enjoy. “But if you’re vegan and don’t want to eat animal derived products why would you want a sandwich that reminds you of just that?” someone might ask. It’s a great question. I was once a frequent consumer of eggs and now find it wholly repulsive to eat them. It’s not that I “can’t” eat them as a vegan. I don’t want to. But sure, I remember the taste and if I can have some of the flavors of dishes so familiar to me but in fully plant based versions, why wouldn’t I?!!!
For more thoughts on that whole “Why do vegans eat products that resemble meat dishes, read this post“
Back to the Tempeh!
Important Note: This is a very basic version of tempeh salad sandwich topping that I make. Usually I’ll add in different herbs, berries, more onions or celery- or all of the above! This is a very flexible recipe so have fun playing with it!
Poach 8 oz tempeh (1 package)
After poaching cool and then crumble into a bowl
-1/4 finely diced onion
-3 tbsp vegan mayo (I almost always use Hampton Creek Just Mayo)
-2 tbsp relish
-1/2 tbsp minced garlic
-sea salt & black pepper to taste
Spread on your choice of bread or cracker!
I sprinkled mine this time with cayenne pepper