Who doesn’t love BBQ? Of course, in the vegan world, BBQ restaurants do not generally cater to our dietary needs. But, Paul and I love BBQ, so why not BBQ at home? Fortunately, my husband, Paul grills like a master, so I made BBQ tempeh.
Although you can grill directly on the grill, we invested in Grill Mats a year ago; a purchase I would highly recommend if you follow a plant-based diet. You can cook anything on these mats; they are reusable, easy to clean, and require no oil or fat in cooking.
With that in mind, we BBQ often! Sometimes, people question what to BBQ if going to someone’s house for a BBQ in the summer. Despite the belief that vegans only eat salad, we use our grill constantly for grilled tofu, BBQ tempeh, as well as vegetables and of course veggie burgers and dogs.
So, the only difference between my vegan BBQ and someone’s BBQ who eats meat is mine doesn’t have animal carcass on it.
HOW TO PREPARE AND GRILL TEMPEH FOR BBQ TEMPEH
First, you need to know my best kept little secret! Tempeh, for instance, is naturally bitter and a bit tough. As a result, tempeh does not absorb the marinade and take on a BBQ grill flavor without boiling it first.
Yes, that’s what I said. Boiling tempeh, for a short 10 minutes, takes away the bitter and then absorbs marinades like a sponge.
First, remove the tempeh from the package, and cut it in half, making two equal-sized squares. Then, place the tempeh pieces in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes, and then remove the tempeh from the boiling water to marinate.
WHY BOIL TEMPEH FOR BBQ TEMPEH SANDWICH OR ANY TYPE OF MARINADE?
- Boiling removes tempeh’s naturally bitter taste
- It softens the tempeh to make it easier to eat and enjoy
- And, boiling allows for better saturation of marinate
I marinate my tempeh beforehand, so it absorbs the flavors of the sauce I plan to use. Regardless of the sauce, marinating is a must. This time, I chose my homemade BBQ sauce. Although I prefer to make my own condiments, a store-bought BBQ sauce works just as well. I make my own healthy BBQ sauce to reduce the amount of sugar and preservatives, but you can use any bottled sauce of choice.
But, if you want to make my homemade BBQ sauce, you need to gather the following ingredients:
- 1 White onion, diced
- 2 cloves, minced Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Organic Tomato Paste
- 1 15 oz. can Organic Tomato Sauce
- 4 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Molasses
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 /2teaspoon Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Since I only used a 1/4 of the BBQ sauce, you will have BBQ sauce leftover that will last up to a week in the refrigerator. Or, you can always freeze it. At my house, though, it doesn’t last even a week in the refrigerator.
Because BBQ sauce is quite sticky, it is extremely important you cook on low heat slowly, so your tempeh doesn’t burn on the grill.
HOW DO I GRILL TEMPEH FOR GRILLED BBQ TEMPEH SANDWICHES?
Now, it’s time to grill the BBQ tempeh. For those fabulous marks, you want the grill piping hot (450 degrees) before you put the BBQ tempeh on the grill. Next, remove the tempeh from the marinade, but keep the extra marinade for after grilling.
In order to get those fabulous grill marks, I turn the tempeh 4 times every 4 minutes. So, that is a total of 16 minutes of grill time.
As a result, you get to return the BBQ tempeh to the BBQ marinade after grilling. And of course, it’s all about the char and the grill marks and soaking up the flavors of the marinade.
As a general rule, I let the tempeh cool a little, so I don’t burn my fingers. Then, I transfer grilled BBQ tempeh for the BBQ tempeh sandwiches onto a grilled vegan ciabatta bun.
HOW DO I MAKE VEGAN MAPLE DIJON SLAW TO TOP MY BBQ TEMPEH SANDWICH?
I topped the sandwiches with Maple Dijon Slaw to compliment the taste of the BBQ sauce. Not only is this recipe simple, but it tastes fabulous on top of a sandwich, on the side or as an entree salad topped with tofu or tempeh.
Again, the Maple Dijon Slaw is a compliment to the BBQ tempeh recipe; it isn’t required, but certainly yummy. If you are interested in making a slaw to accompany the BBQ tempeh, you will need:
- 1/2 small napa cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 small purple cabbage, chopped
- 2 Fuji apples, sliced and then cut in half (soaked in 2 Tablespoons lemon juice to prevent browning)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1/2 cup raw cashew, soaked overnight and drained
- 1/4 cup pure Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/4 cup water
SUMMER IS COMING! IF YOU LOVE TO GRILL, TRY THESE FUN AND EASY VEGAN GRILL RECIPES:
- BBQ Jackfruit Recipe
- Vegan BBQ Pulled Sweet Potato Sandwiches with Pineapple Slaw
- Grilled Maple Stone Ground Mustard Tofu
- Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu with Vegetable Slaw
- Grilled Vegetable Salad
- Vegan BLT
- Beet Burger
- Tofu Satay
- Lemongrass Tofu Recipe
- Pressed Tofu for Grilling, Baking, Air-frying or Cooking in a Skillet
- Vegan Macaroni Salad