Tempeh Pepper Steak

I revisted my Tempeh Pepper Steak recipe, inspired by another CSA box with lots of little peppers.

carrots, zucchini, basil, lettuce & grapes

plums, peppers, oranges (in July?), potatoes, blueberries & onions

While looking around for pepper steak recipes, most of what I found was a either a Chinese version or a really unappetizing version.  For whatever reason I was envisioning an American-style pepper steak, with lots of savory flavors.  I kept some of the Chinese aspects like ginger, sherry and soy and added the flavors I was craving – tomato paste, Worcestershire and black pepper.  My second attempt turned out perfectly.  This tempeh is among the most moist tempeh I’ve ever had, right up there with the Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh from Veganomicon.

(The change in technique yielded results that are not nearly as pretty as my first try, but so much more flavorful.  It would’ve helped if I had a nice green pepper – the peppers I used were light green and orange.)

Tempeh Pepper Steak

To crush the peppercorns, I put them in a sealable plastic bag and crushed them with a small saute pan.  A mortar and pestle would probably work better if you have it, as that is what they’re designed to do.

8 oz tempeh
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, sliced
2 small or 1 large bell pepper, sliced (green or red, or both)
1 carrot, sliced on the diagonal
1 stalk of celery, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbs sherry
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs tomato paste
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp peppercorns, crushed

1. Slice the tempeh in half so that you have two thinner pieces of equal size. Slice these pieces into 8 rectangles each, for 16 pieces total. Set aside.

2. Combine the broth, sherry, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, ginger and salt in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute just until starting to become translucent, about 3 minutes. Add sliced pepper, carrot and celery and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

4. Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables and add the tempeh. Gently stir, and try to make sure the tempeh is sitting down in the broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, either turning or basting the tempeh a few times.

Serve with brown rice or mashed potatoes.

Serves 3.


  1. Nora said

    Looks like a great recipe! Not that there could ever be a bad tempeh recipe… 😉

  2. Nicole said

    Look at all of that color! That recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!

  3. broccolihut said

    Wow, this looks so delicious!! Can you recommend a vegan Worcestershire brand?

    • veganhomemade said

      I’ve used both Annie’s and The Wizard’s Worcestershire and liked them both. The Wizard’s makes a gluten-free Worcestershire if that’s a concern for anyone, although I’ve never seen it in stores.

  4. Melisser said

    I should totally make this for Ryan.

  5. Tender B. said

    This sounds delicious. I love almost anything tempeh. I’ll be trying it out soon. Thanks!

  6. mmm, so good. woah, you got a million peppers! i’m so jealous. although out here in new mexico i’ve gotten to sample many a pepper and i’m lovin’ it!

  7. I’ve been craving seitan steak and peppers, but I may use your tempeh recipe instead. This sounds delicious!

  8. Kelly said

    Looks delicious! I haven’t had anything like steak and peppers for ages, but now I want to try this!

  9. Carrie said

    This sounds delicious! I love tempeh.

  10. sheree said

    CSA’s are so much fun. I look forward to ours every Thursday. Mighty fine meal you made there!

  11. Diann said

    What a great way to use up all those peppers.

  12. Mihl said

    Can I tell you a secret? I have a green peppercorn addiction (eat it right out of the jar) and I love peper in general. I am so making this next time I grab a package of tempeh. What would be a good substitute for the Sherry, I never have this stuff around.

    • veganhomemade said

      Mihl – Red cooking wine would be a fine substitute. If not wine, then maybe red wine vinegar, but in a smaller amount.

  13. What a great way to use tempeh! I almost never buy it because I just can’t figure out what to do with it, but this sounds like a fantastic dish to try next time!

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