Reprinted with permission from the author, Isa Chandra Moskowitz.Read/Write Reviews
Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes (p. 132)
For the cakes:
Make ahead: Make the entire mixture and the remoulade the night before. In the morning, form into cakes and panfry.
First we're going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to give it some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucepan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and bay leaf. The tempeh won't be fully submerged, but that's fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 minutes to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.
Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove the bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the Veganaise, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, bell pepper, ginger, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the breadcrumbs and nori, if using, and use your hands to incorporate.
Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your palms and then roll the sides gently to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2-to 3-inch patties. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. They don't need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.
Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Serve with lemon wedges.
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