Thai basil has a more assertive taste than regular basil, with an almost licorice-like hint. Definitely use it if you can find it, but if not, regular basil makes a fine substitute. As with many Asian-inspired dishes, do all of your chopping and prep work in advance - things move fast once the skillet is on the stove!
Ahead of time, combine 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sake, 2 tablespoons minced shallots, and 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil in a shallow dish. For the sake, choose a Nigori (unfiltered) sake, and you can be sure it is vegan!
Cut 1 pound of soy tempeh into 1/2-inch cubes, and place in the soy sauce mixture, tossing to coat. The original recipe said to marinate anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours - when faced with a choice that long, I usually pick the halfway mark, so I let mine marinate for 2 hours. Whatever length of time you choose, stir the tempeh at about the half way point.
Drain the tempeh (although to be honest, I had very little to drain, as the tempeh has absorbed most of the liquid) and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons raw sugar, 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 3 tablespoons water, and 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice; set aside.
Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and saute for 2 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat an additional 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in the skillet. Add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons sake, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 (10-ounce) package of fresh spinach; stir-fry until the spinach wilts, then remove the spinach with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Heat a final tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add 3 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion and 3 tablespoons chopped garlic; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the tempeh, the previously-made sugar/soy sauce mixture, and 2 cups of loosely packed Thai basil leaves; cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
On each of 6 plates, place 3/4 cup cooked basmati rice in the center. Arrange 3/4 cup of the tempeh mixture on top of the rice, and 1/3 cup of the spinach mixture around the tempeh mixture.
Each serving is 420 calories.
soy tempeh $3.34
fresh spinach $3.99
red onion $1.81
Thai basil $7.47
basmati rice $1.94
The Vegan Pantry
- Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
- Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
- Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
- Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
- Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
- Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html