When the weather warms up, it’s time to fire up the grill. One of my favorite ways to grill it up vegan style is with tempeh kabobs. My tempeh kabob recipe cooks in a mere 16 minutes from grill to plate. So, skip the oven and kitchen mess and opt for grilled tempeh kabobs instead.
Although you can use any marinade you like, I found a great deal on fresh pineapple at the store. So, I decided to add pienapple to my tempeh kabobs, as well as use it for the marinade as well.
I also decided to make a separate batch for the BBQ sauce lovers in my house.
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.
Next, 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 TEMPEH KABOBS 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 teriyaki marinade from my Teriyaki Tofu recipe. But, first, allow the tempeh to cool, and then cut it into large cubes, wide enough to place on the kabob skewers.
Once cut into cubes, cover the tempeh with the marinade and allow to marinate overnight if possible.
RECOMMENDED MARINADES FOR TEMPEH KABOBS
Again, whatever marinade you choose, I suggest marinating overnight for the best results. For this grilled tempeh kabob recipe, I chose two marinades; homemade Teriyaki and BBQ sauce. Obviously, you can choose a bottled sauce instead, but I prefer to make my own sauces and marinades.
HOMEMADE TERIYAKI MARINADE/DRESSING
- 1/2 cup Tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
HEALTHY BBQ SAUCE RECIPE
- 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 (I used Annie’s)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Molasses
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 /2teaspoon Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
If you are looking for a store-bought oil-free BBQ sauce, I sometimes use Simple GIrl Organic BBQ Sauces. Also, there is a sugar-free one I like as well, but it is a Carolina BBQ sauce flavor, called Simple Girl Carolina Style BBQ Sauce.
Again, if you are looking for a short cut to making your own BBQ sauce, you just need to make sure you read the label to avoid oil and sugar if you are following a low-fat or no sugar lifestyle.
HOW TO GRILL TEMPEH KABOBS
First, begin by threading the kabob skewers alternating marinated tofu with red onion and pineapple. Then, preheat the grill to medium or 400 degrees, and allow to heat completely, before adding any kabobs.
- Place skewers directly on the grill grate
- Cook for 16 minutes, rotating 4 times within the 16 minutes time frame (every 4 minutes)
- Remove from the grill and carefully remove the cooked tempeh, pineapple, and onions from the skewers.
If you use wooden skewers, remember to soak them on water prior to threading the skewers. As a result, the tempeh and other ingredients will not stick to the wooden skewers.
Also, be very careful when using metal skewers. Always use oven mitts, especially when removing the ingredients from the skewers.
OTHER IDEAS FOR GRILLED TEMPEH KABOBS
- White onion
- Red bell pepper
- Green Pepper
- Potatoes (par-boiled)
There’s nothing better than grilled pineapple, red onions, and grilled tempeh!
HERE ARE SOME OF MY VEGAN GRILL FAVORITES:
- BBQ Tofu
- Grilled Vegetable Kabobs
- Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger
- Beet Burger
- Grilled Caesar Salad
- Grilled Maple Stone Ground Mustard Tofu
- Cauliflower Steaks
- Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu with Vegetable Slaw
- Grilled Vegetable Salad
- Tofu Tacos
- BBQ Tempeh
- Jerk Tofu