One of the first things I discovered when I went vegan was the mock chicken salad at Earth Fare. My partner and I both went wild over it – which, in retrospect, is a little odd considering the first thing we did when we brought it home was change it completely! We’d add green chili peppers and more mayo and onions. We’d often buy a batch and doctor it up to take on road trips.
The downside of Earth Fare’s vegan chicken salad is that it’s quite expensive. And trying to make chicken salad from Beyond Meat or Gardein “chicken” is also costly. Fortunately, I discovered that tempeh makes a very satisfying chicken salad substitute! Ever since I first discovered tempeh chicken salad, I’ve been experimenting with different variations. This curried tempeh salad is my latest phase. It’s different from many other curried mock chicken salads because it’s savory, not sweet (although the green peas do provide the barest touch of sweetness).
Note: It may seem the amount of curry powder used here is very small, but I honestly think with curry powder, a little goes a very long way. I’ve built the flavor with garlic, onions, ginger, and peppers, instead of making the curry powder do all the work. Also – do not be afraid of the nutritional yeast. It doesn’t make the tempeh taste cheesy, just weirdly chicken-y.
Ingredients for Spicy Curried Tempeh Salad:
1 Package Tempeh (8 oz.)
1/2 Vidalia Onion, diced (approximately 3/4 cup)
2 Stalks Celery, diced
1 Serrano or Jalapeno Pepper, diced, seeds and pith removed (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 Cup frozen Green Peas, thawed
3 TBL Nutritional Yeast
For the Dressing:
1/2 Cup Vegenaise
1/2 – 1 Teaspon Sea Salt
2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4+ Teaspoon Red Chili Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
1/2 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger
Directions for Spicy Curried Tempeh Salad
Break the tempeh into several chunks and steam for 25 minutes. The tempeh may have some darker spots – that is absolutely normal.
Let the tempeh cool, then crumble the tempeh with your hands into a large mixing bowl. The beans should pretty much just fall apart. Add the onions, celery, hot peppers (if using), thawed green peas, and nutritional yeast. Mix gently.
In another, smaller bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
Add the dressing to the tempeh and mix well. Chill for at least an hour to allow the flavors to fully develop.
You can serve as is, in small glass bowls …
But I think it’s especially good served on toasted bread …
Or on a bun.