Sesame Tempeh Crumbles

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These sesame tempeh crumbles are the perfect protein-packed salad topping or buddha bowl filling. They’re vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and made with just 7 simple ingredients!

I love tempeh but I don’t eat it nearly as much as I wish I did. I’ve been trying to diversify my meals and make more interesting dishes, but I don’t really have a staple tempeh recipe that I love. In college I would just throw it into simple stir-fries in place of tofu, but I always found the slightly bitter taste to it off-putting. Then I started marinating my tofu and tempeh in this miso marinade, and everything suddenly tasted 10x more satisfying and delicious! That’s when I realized the key to good tempeh is marinating it in lots of flavor, and cutting the bitter flavor with a little bit of sake or mirin in the marinade. Steaming the tempeh first also helps.

I usually prefer to just slice my tempeh or cut them into cubes, but they’re also really great for crumbling and it’s fun to switch things up now and then. However, you could just marinate the tempeh in slices and it will turn out just as delicious. It’s up to you, but I like the crumbles with salads or stir-fried green beans. I think they would also make a delicious Asian-style taco filling or Asian-style pasta ?? So much to experiment with! But for now I’ll just leave you with this basic recipe and you can add it to whatever dish you like 🙂


To make these sesame tempeh crumbles you need 7 basic ingredients:

  • tempeh (I get mine from Trader Joe’s as I find it most affordable at $1.99 per block)
  • ground toasted sesame seeds, known as surigoma in Japanese, you can find them pre-ground at some Asian supermarkets, or just toast and grind up whole sesame seeds in blender
  • mirin, sweet rice wine, this helps cut some of the bitterness of tempeh
  • red miso, for that savory, umami flavor
  • rice vinegar, to add a little acidity
  • maple syrup, to balance the acidity of the vinegar and the saltiness of the miso
  • ginger, to add that distinctive zesty, spicy flavor

The longer the tempeh sits in the marinade, the better the flavor will develop. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, and up to one day ahead.

These sesame tempeh crumbles are:

  • nutty
  • savory
  • protein-packed
  • deliciously addicting
  • easy
  • versatile
  • 100% plant-based
  • gluten-free
  • oil-free
  • & perfect for meal prepping!

Still hungry?

Check out these other tasty ways to prepare some plant-based protein!

If you do give this recipe a try, don’t forget to tag me in your recreations on instagram and/or leave a comment down below letting me know how you liked it! I love connecting with my readers and am always eager for feedback 🙂 Happy cooking!

Sesame Tempeh Crumbles

These sesame tempeh crumbles are the perfect protein-packed salad topping or buddha bowl filling. They're vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, and made with just 7 simple ingredients!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinate Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Vegan
Servings 2


  • 1 block tempeh
  • 2 tbsp ground toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp red miso
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Mix together all ingredients except tempeh in a big bowl. Crumble tempeh into the marinade and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook, heat a wide pan over medium-low heat and add tempeh crumbles and marinade. Add a few splashes of water if the tempeh soaked up all the liquid. Cover pan and steam tempeh for 10 minutes.
  • Uncover pan and let the liquid cook off, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Once the tempeh turns a darker golden brown and starts to char, turn off heat and tempeh is ready to serve.

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