Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

The best tempeh recipe I've highlighted to date - it features a simple ginger and garlic-spiked orange glaze that plays of the nutty earthiness of the pan-fried tempeh beautifully.

Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh

This might be the best tempeh recipe I've highlighted to date. It features a simple ginger and garlic-spiked orange glaze that plays off the nutty, earthiness of pan-fried tempeh beautifully. Unlike many other tempeh recipes, there is no need for a long marinade time with this one, making it great for a last-minute weeknight meal.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
The recipe comes with a bit of a story, originates in a book I suspect many of you haven't seen yet, and started with an email I received one morning last September from Australian cookbook author (and natural foods enthusiast) Jude Blereau. It read,

Dear Heidi, My name is Jude Blereau and I'm a Natural Foods Chef and author from Western Australia. I'm currently in San Francisco, having a fabulous time(...) I'd love the opportunity to have a chat with you and meet you. We do similar work I think, though with our own different slant. Hoping we can meet...

The name sounded quite familiar to me, I did a quick scan of my cookbooks, and spotted her book immediately. It was a thoughtfully composed volume of natural food recipes that I had tucked into my suitcase on my journey back from New Zealand a couple years ago. The minute I discovered Wholefood in a bookstore in Wellington, I knew I was reading along with a cook I had much in common with. Flash forward a couple years (and emails) later and we are chatting over coffee and croissants at Tartine Bakery here in San Francisco.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
We talked about all sorts of things, and I asked Jude if she'd let me highlight one of her recipes here on the site. She told me she had a new book just published in Australia, and that she'd send the new one to me upon her return. Today's tempeh recipe is from Jude's new book - Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the Family published by Murdoch Books. It is beautifully written, delicately designed, brimming with great recipes, and punctuated by a handful of photographs (by Geoff Fisher and Michelle Aboud) that help set the aesthetic tone of the book perfectly.
Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh
My hope is that Coming Home to Eat will get U.S. distribution sometime in the near future, but as far as I know, that could take some time. Meanwhile, you can follow Jude through her site or her blog. And if you find yourself in Perth looking for a cooking class experience or natural chef training program - Jude's the one to track down.

And thank you for reaching out Jude, I look forward to visiting you in Perth someday. You books an inspiring, and your enthusiasm infectious. I hope our paths cross again soon. -h

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Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh Recipe

4.04 from 32 votes

HS note: This recipe is equally good made with tofu. I made a couple minor tweaks to the recipe based on American ingredients/measurements. You can make a meal out of this by pairing it with some lightly sauteed seasonal vegetables, or in this case I simple served if over some left-over cooked wheat berries that I heated with a bit of chopped kale.

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • a handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves
  1. Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the tamari, mirin, and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.
  2. Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Put the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.
  4. Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the coriander scattered on top. Heidi note: As I mention in the head notes, I served this over some leftover wheat berries heated with a few handfuls of chopped kale.

Serves 4. (or two if you love it as much as we did -h)

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
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Recipe Rating



I substituted mirin for seasoned rice vinegar as that is what I had on hand–no negative effect!! incredible–some of the best tempeh I’ve ever made and I make it weekly!5 stars


I’ve been making this at least monthly since you originally posted it. Make mine over soba noodles. Yum.5 stars

Monika J

    I love it over soba too :)!

    Heidi Swanson

SO delicious! Like Sam, I added almonds. And I served w/broccoli, which was great with the extra glaze. Thanks…and keep ’em coming!


OH my this was amazing. Such a fantastic recipe. I served it over brown jasmine rice/quinoa mix and some kale stir fried with garlic. I served your dairy less chocolate mousse for a great finish! Such a great meal.


I made this last night and it was awesome! I did cheat though by using bottled orange juice, and powdered ginger (my fresh ginger had gone bad). Even my grandmother, who thinks it’s unhealthy to eat dinner without meat, loved it!


This reminds me a lot of my favorite dish at Wild Ginger (veggie Asian-fusion restaurant in Brooklyn). Now no more take-out when I have a craving! I made it last night and served it with kale and tossed in some slivered almonds (like at the restaurant). Delicious! Thanks, Heidi!


Which grade of maple syrup did you use? Thank you!
HS: Hi Patty, I think I used grade B for this recipe this time around.


I am eating this as I type and it is FABULOUS!! I have never cooked tempeh before & this was so easy!! I put mine over brown rice & threw in a bit of avacado (I needed to use it before it went bad).
I frequent your website, but have only tried a few websites & this is my favorite! I am just starting to get into the “foodie” world & your website is helping me every step of the way! THANK YOU!!


I made this and it came out looking just like the picture (that is, gorgeous)! Which was pretty exciting for someone who has never considered herself a good cook. Thanks for always having such detailed directions!


thank you for posting this, heidi! we made it tonight, and have voted it into status as a new staple. hooray!


We made this tonight for dinner and it was great! We don’t use tempeh much, so it was good to have a new way to fix it and the sauce is so delicious that we decided to double the sauce next time and try it with tofu, which is a little more universally appreciated at our house. We didn’t have kale, so we added spinach and mushrooms to the brown rice bed and used canola oil and a splash of toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil. Thanks for the great recipe!

Elizabeth Scoggin

We made this tonight for dinner and it was great! We don’t use tempeh much, so it was good to have a new way to fix it and the sauce is so delicious that we decided to double the sauce next time and try it with tofu, which is a little more universally appreciated at our house. We didn’t have kale, so we added spinach and mushrooms to the brown rice bed and used canola oil and a splash of toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil. Thanks for the great recipe!

Elizabeth Scoggin

I made this with tofu for dinner last night and it was excellent. I fudged on a couple things, since our fresh ginger was frozen I just chopped it up and added it to the liquid as is and I didn’t have coriander seeds, but it turned out so well. Thanks!


Never tried tempeh before. Can’t wait to give this one a try!


Looks amazing!…I’ve never had good luck with Temph…I’ll give this one a go for sure.


Like several other posters, my past experiences with tempeh have been pretty hit-or-miss. Generic stirfry? Miss. Vegan picadillo? Huge hit.
I’m looking forward to giving this one a whirl–sounds like a lot of people have already test driven it, with great success. Huzzah!
(By the way, Heidi, in ref to someone’s comment a few posts back, I like the color schemes in your photos. Honestly, for vegetarian mains, you just are going to have a lot of beiges and browns and greens if you are eating whole foods…)

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

I just made this recipe with some blood oranges that I got at the farmer’s market… It was so delicious! Not too sweet or cloying, vibrant and bright with some greens on the side… fabulous! Thanks for highlighting it.


I did this with lemon juice instead of orange and want people to know that it ends up a bit too tart — you should decrease the juice or increase the maple syrup. For people who don’t like citrus, maybe use apple or cranberry and reduce the sugar?

A cook in LA

oh i haven’t had tempeh in so long! makes me so nostalgic just looking at this. i love this recipe – it looks just fantastic.


OMG that looks SO delicious! the tempeh/orange combo sounds incredible… also makes for a vibrant, beautiful photo!


hmm this sounds delicious – the second really delicious tempeh recipe I’ve heard recently. But this sounds a little dry…I wonder if you can increase the sauce or come up with some way to make it saucier.

nithya at hungrydesi

Oh, how I love tempeh…however, I am an orange-phobe, and not much of a fan of other citrus either. Do you think there’s anything that can be substituted for the orange juice? Considering it’s a whole cup, I’m not too optimistic, but I thought I’d ask :]

Amber Shea

Heidi, I made the tempeh for dinner and it was an amazing hit! Thank you. Delicious.

caroline douglas

Heidi – this recipe looks fabulous!


That orange glaze sounds like it’s to die for!


Just got a chuckle from Heidi’s comment about no tempeh in sight in New Mexico..on the other hand, I tried this tonite and we were smitten. The sauce has just the right amount piquantness..another one to add to the favorites…


Oops! Threw.


We tried it with tofu, fresh tangerines off a friends tree (we live in Hawaii), sherry instead of mirin, and we just through the grated ginger in without squeezing. It was awesome, my whole family, even the non veges, ate it up!


Yes! I was just trying to decide what to make for dinner so I hopped over here for soem inspiration and voila! I have some extra-firm tofu sitting in the fridge begging to be used. I’ve also been wanting to get some Tempeh and try it out.


Hi Amber–I was wondering how to do this without the OJ because I’m allergic to citric acid. I’m thinking of trying this with pomegranate juice and maybe just adding some sugar or honey to makeup for the lack of sweetness in the juice (as compared to OJ). Don’t know if it will work, but I’ll report back!


Finally!!! I have been looking for something like this for a long time … thanks for the post Heidi, and Jude for the recipe.


Heidi…I just wanted to let you know I’ve been lurking on your site for months and found it to be an omen when the boyfriend brought home extra-firm tofu and fresh OJ for dinner, but didn’t know what to do with it! =) This was the first dish I’ve made from your site (though I’ve printed off many more!) and it was a quick and sweet dish that we served up over some leftover black rice. Delish!
HS Glad you liked it Victoria!


I’ve eaten tempeh only once at an organic food restaurant and I had no clue how to cook or use them even to date. This looks and sounds doable. In fact I have all the ingredients at home except tempeh. I will definitely give it a try. 🙂
By the way, Tartine is one of my favorite bakeries in SF!


We make something really similar only I always simmer the tempeh for about 5 minutes and then marinate mine for at least a few hours… then either grill it or bake it in the oven. Our sauce is really close to this recipe. I will try it this way for sure to see what the differences are! I love tempeh… so much easier on my stomach than tofu.
Oh Heidi! If you could just get an hour up the road you could get fabulous tempeh at the Body Cafe in Santa Fe!


I’ve been experimenting with tempeh lately. This dish looks really delicious. Can’t wait to give it a try.

lisa (dandysugar)

Tofu and tempeh are the mainstays of my diet – this recipe looks great!

Marcia Bodenstein

I have yet to try tempeh, but this recipe has convinced me to take the plunge. Thanks for sharing!


Looks amazing!…I’ve never had good luck with Temph…I’ll give this one a go for sure.


I’m glad you guys are liking it. I’m stuck right now in the Albuquerque, New Mexico airport. And trust me – there is no tempeh in sight.


For Michelle:
yes, tempeh is the less processed choice when it comes to soyfoods– much better for you than fake chicken and sausage made from soy, and many people say healthier than tofu as well. Beth


I love tempeh. I have been tempted to try to culture it at home, but I suspect I would have a mess. I am definitely going to try this out.


That looks really tasty. I’ve only made tempeh a few times and didn’t like it very much, but I’m definitely going to try this with tofu.


Heidi, I’m de-lurking to share with you that I love your recipes, your blog and your book. Jude Blereau’s book Wholefoods can be had on amazon dot com for as little as 99 cents, her new book can be ordered from I’ve found that australian books in english are also easily ordered through either amazon dot co dot uk, or if you are adventurous with language through amazon dot de. you can also just enter an isbn number into g o o g l e and sellers of the book pop up… I’ve got my wholefoods copy on the way now… thanks for the tip.


Mirin, maple and tamari are an awesome combo. They really add oomph to a sauce/marinade. This sounds really, really good!

The Duo Dishes

That looks utterly delicious!


I made this for dinner tonight- delicious! And I finally found a use for that tempeh in the freezer!


perfect! i have a huge bag of greens bestowed fm mom. they are the ones that dimsum shops blanch and serve with oyster sauce but they are baby thin from her garden. we been eating these things for 3 days straight and sweet tempeh sounds like a good match!
i’m still trying to tone down from the holidays…


My tempeh trials are hit-or-miss. Usually miss. But I love the idea of tempeh and can’t wait to try this!
BTW, in terms of processed vs. unprocessed foods, I’m guessing that tempeh is less than tofu or seitan. Is that right, does anyone know how they make tempeh?

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

Just tried this recipe for dinner tonight and it’s killer! I paired it with just some brown rice and spinach and nearly ate it all by myself. If you’re a fan of spicy, I’d suggest a sprinkle of red chile flakes…spicy and sweet is just up my alley and this recipe is great.


Interesting to see this because I just posted a recipe for Tempeh and I had never cooked with it before. My dish does require that the tempeh marinate for several hours at least? So I will try yours right now. I have plenty of tempeh left in the frig. Thanks and really love your blog. You are bringing us the freshest culinary style for the 21st century! best, s


Yay! I love my wholefoods cookbook, and look forward to looking into her more resent publications. I have a back stock of tofu in the fridge so I plan to try this recipe out with that tonite! Thanks!

Organic Goodness

I have never known anyone who’s actually tried making something with tempeh before. Thanks for boldly going there. Also, I have been enjoying your inclusion of whole grains.

Dallas from BitchinKitchen

Thanks for turning us on to yet another fabulous cook/chef/author and blog. I learn so much from your recipes and those that you link to.


I will make this soon, especially now that oranges are so inexpensive where I live. Question: do you steam your tempeh before you fry it? I always steam it as I heard that it will help with digestion.


i found these substitutes for MIRIN:
1 tablespoon dry sherry + ½ teaspoon sugar OR sherry OR heat two parts sake and one part sugar OR white wine + sugar to taste OR white wine


Oh wow that looks great!
I actually went to school in Perth and thought it was such a lovely little city!! I have many friends there and plan to travel back one day. I will definitely look her up for a cooking class!!!


Heidi – Thank you for introducing us to Jude and to tempeh (I’ve never cooked with it either). This looks really delicious and crispy…one of my favorite textures.
I’m also quite jealous that you enjoyed her company over coffee and croissants from Tartine (I’m an SF native, transplanted to London for the moment)!


Wow, this looks delicious. I haven’t had tempeh in while this is a great excuse to make something with it! I’ve always wanted to make a good sweet citrus sauce, I bet this would taste great with lemon juice too.
Thanks Heidi.

Eliza from Eliza Domestica

I have cooked with tempeh, and find I quite enjoy it. We also have a predilection for citrus around here, so I can’t wait to give this recipe a try.


Hi Jennifer,
I too was once troubled by tempeh’s less-than-fresh appearance, so I turned to the massive tome Passionate Vegetarian by the unforgetable Crescent Dragonwagon. She writes that the spots that look like mold in your tempeh reflect how the stuff is made: by culturing soybeans with a mold called Rhizopus oligosporus. The process similar to how milk is cultured into yogurt by the enlisting the aid of bacteria. Now that’s not to say you were eating “moldy” food. Your average American tempeh looks like a cobblestone path: brown spots along with a few darker ones, suspended in a white or slightly grey cake. The brown “stones” are bits of soy; the “cement” is the cake that forms from the culturing process. The darker spots are also part of the culturing, but you only want to see a few of those. Very spotty tempeh is on its way to spoilage. That lighter tempeh you found was less fermented than the darker stuff, probably with a milder flavor.
A note on tempeh – since it is formed from a mold, it’s not to be eaten raw like tofu. Tempeh recipes, like this gem, include a marinating step followed by baking, stir-frying, sauteing, and other cooking methods. I almost always boil a block of tempeh as my first step – it lightens the texture and makes it easier to cook and digest (and Kate, that will lessen the bitterness!). I likely will when I try this recipe! But some people like the firm, meaty texture and full flavor.
Finally, like with any food preserved by refrigeration, follow your nose! If you’re tempeh (or soy milk or yogurt or cream…) is bad, you will smell it into next week. Good luck, and here’s to your culinary adventurousness!

Jess @ lavidaveggie

The cookbook looks beautiful. Lucky you, getting a call and then a visit from the cook herself!

Mama JJ

I love tempeh but I always seem to make the same dish with it. This is just the recipe I needed to change this silly habit of mine. Thanks Heidi and Jude!


I love everything about this recipe! The flavors sound spectacular, and the method is so easy–perfect. I’ve got a block of tempeh in the freezer that was made for this.


Thanks so much for this recipe, I’d love to try it but I’m not sure about using mirin. I don’t want to use anything with alcohol, could you please recommend a substitute?


I’m going to join the other commenters in saying that I’ve never cooked tempeh before but this looks great.

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

Heidi, I love your recipes and have been a fan for over a year. This one sounds like a winner. I have tempeh in the fridge and am going to try it tonight. Many thanks!


i literally just finished leftovers for lunch of the maple grilled tempeh featured last july. though it’s hard to imagine topping that recipe, i can hardly wait to try the citrus twist presented here. thank you for making tempeh so yummilicious.


Hello Heidi,
The name Jude Blereau sounded immediately familiar to me, too… as I’ve got Coming Home to Eat! I found it and got my copy on but also saw it at the book section in Whole Foods store in London’s South Kensington.
I, too, have never cooked tempeh myself… I think I’ve seen it at some natural food store in Tokyo, but I might give it a try with tofu (over brown rice or maybe even farro or barley). Thanks! 🙂


I tried this recipe out today and did not find that the Tempeh was bitter at all! Actually, it was quite delicious and used up the two packages of lightlife organic tempeh I had stored in the fridge for the past months! Thanks!


Wow, another tempeh recipe :). I love your TLT one and I’m sure this is equally good. I “vegetarianized” a dish that an aunt of mine made while growing up by using tempeh and it seemed quite successful. Perhaps I can share with you once I have the recipe actually written down. I don’t think a bit of this and a splash of that would work very well :).


I love Jude Blereau’s Wholefood– her recipes and attitude toward food and cooking are inspiring. I especially appreciate the care she takes in preparing grains (the porridge section got us through the winter last year, as we were tired of oatmeal by January!).
I’ve never tried tempeh, and after the mold discussion, I’ll probably pass on it for a while longer! But this recipe and the picture are definitely tempting! Thanks for the heads-up on the new wholefood book. 🙂


Thanks Heidi and Jess for the guidance! I am looking forward to trying this!


Heidi, who wouldn’t want to sit down over croissant with you?!


Is there a substitute for Mirin?


Heidi, do you ever steam the tempeh first, before marinating and frying? I’ve only recently started doing this, per Deborah Madison’s advice, and have found that not only is the tempeh less bitter according to my kids (I never mind bitter), but also it slightly increases in volume, and certainly the texture improves, so that it seems to go farther and be more satisfying. Or perhaps you have access to better tempeh than I?


    Sometimes, and I agree. Steamed tempeh is really delicious. Jude doesn’t steam first in this recipe. 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

I have cooked tempeh before and found it bitter … this sounds like a perfect remedy! Thanks and LOVE the site 🙂


I had never cooked with tempeh until I attempted your TLT sandwich which was excellent and has become a family favorite (even with the non-vegetarians who request it all the time)! I love the way this dish looks and am anxious to try it – but I have a question about tempeh. When I opened my first tempeh package (months before the expiration date) it looked like it might have become moldy. Since I had no idea what it should look like I bought another package of the same brand which had a lighter color, so I threw the first package away to be safe. Since then I have opened a number of packages that have looked questionable, which makes me wonder if there is a normal color variation in tempeh or if I just happened to get a number of bad packages? Can you tell me how the tempeh should look so I don’t throw away perfectly good tempeh? Thanks!
HS: Hi Jennifer, see the comments Jess made below, she is an earlier riser than I am 😉 But in short, a bit of bloom is no big deal, I usually see it around the corners. If it bothers you just trim it.


I also have never cooked with tempeh but you have inspired me! I’m actually a Wellingtonian and have come across Jude’s books before, so I will be looking out for her new one. I’m an avid reader of your blog and I’d like to thank you for your absolutely beautiful recipes! I also send deferred thanks from friends, coworkers, family and my boyfriend – the main samplers of my cooking. You really are a chef to admire and I hope that you are able to visit this part of the world again soon.


I have never used tempeh before, but this recipe may spur me into expanding my culinary repertoire! I love any savory dish with citrus flavours in it, and this sounds very flavourful indeed. Thanks Heidi, your recipes always inspire me to try new things. 🙂


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