My love for fermented foods is fervent. Offering impressive nutrition with every bite, these gut-friendly products are superfoods in their own way, one of which is tempeh, a fermented soy product originally from Indonesia, where it’s eaten as a primary source of protein.1 Aside from using soybeans, tempeh can also be produced from coconut press cake (tempeh bongkrek), okara or soy pulp (tempeh gembus) and peanut press cake (tempeh bungkil).2 Turn ordinary tempeh into a mouthwatering dish with my quick and easy Tempeh Reuben recipe.
Did You Know?
- Tempeh is a fermented soy product from Indonesia, where it’s eaten as a primary source of protein
- If you buy ready-to-eat tempeh from the grocery, steaming or simmering it for a few minutes is highly recommended to help reduce its bitterness, make it softer, and soak up seasonings and flavorings better
- Probiotics play a vital role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract, and aid in the production of antibodies against pathogens
- Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking as, unlike many other oils, it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged
Tempeh Reuben Recipe
Serving Size: 6
- 2 packages tempeh, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Dr. Mercola’s coconut oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
- 24 ounces raw sauerkraut
- Sea salt, to taste
- 6 large romaine lettuce leaves, whole
- Crumble the tempeh and place in a steamer basket. Steam for 20 minutes. Remove and place in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together the tamari and mustard. Pour over the steamed tempeh, and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to set while preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil shimmers, add the onions. Sauté until onions are brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, but let pan stay on burner.
- Add the steamed tempeh mixture and sauerkraut to the pan; stir to combine. Allow to stay on burner, covered, until heated through. Season with sea salt to taste.
- Serve in lettuce leaves.
(Adapted from "Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type")
Tempeh Reuben Cooking Tips
As I’ve said many times, soy is not the miracle health food that the media and leading food manufacturers have painted it to be. Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of "The Whole Soy Story," points out that soy has been linked to various health issues. A few examples include malnutrition,3 thyroid dysfunction,4 cognitive decline5 and reproductive disorders.6 That being said, I strongly advise you to avoid consuming unfermented soy products.
In addition, since 94 percent of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified,7 I recommend looking for tempeh products with a label that explicitly states they’re made with organic non-GMO soy.
Prepackaged tempeh from grocery stores usually has a bitter flavor. Even if it says “ready to eat” on the label, steaming or simmering tempeh for a few minutes is highly recommended in order to reduce its bitterness, make it a little softer and provide time to soak up seasonings and flavorings better.8
Similarly, fresh tempeh will have to be steamed or simmered for about 10 minutes as it’s not precooked.9
On the other hand, instead of buying commercially available sauerkraut in supermarkets, why don’t you try making your own at home? Check out my homemade raw sauerkraut recipe here. To keep a bunch of green leafy vegetables fresh for as long as 10 days, store them in an airtight container with clean paper towels. The paper towels will help absorb moisture, which is the primary reason why they easily wilt.10
Why Is Tempeh Reuben Good for You?
This tasty Tempeh Reuben recipe not only will be an absolute delight for your taste buds, but for your gut flora, too. With cultured foods like sauerkraut and tempeh as its main ingredient, this dish is surely loaded with beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics play a vital role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract and aid in the production of antibodies against pathogens.11 This makes a healthy gut a major factor in maintaining optimal health, as a robust immune system is your top defense system against many forms of disease.12 Packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin K2 and B vitamins,13 fermented foods help:
- Draw out a wide range of toxins and heavy metals in your body14
- Inhibit obesity and diabetes15
- Improve your mood and mental health16
- Regulate dietary fat absorption
- Lower your risk of cancer17
- Protect you from infection18
Another wonderful ingredient in this tempeh recipe is coconut oil, which offers an array of impressive health benefits by helping:
- Promote heart health19
- Deliver an excellent fuel for your body20
- Support a healthy thyroid function21
- Maintain youthful-looking skin22
- Enhance brain function23
- Inhibit obesity and its associated disorders24
- Strengthen your immune system25
To learn more about the benefits of fermented foods, I suggest reading my article, “Fermented Foods Gaining Popularity as Health Benefits Become More Widely Recognized.” On the other hand, you may get the most out of coconut oil by using it in recipes that require heating. Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged unlike many other oils.26
+ Sources and References