Vegan Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes

I made these last week and they were really good. The only problem was that they were very delicate and some fell apart! I followed the directions and made everything the day before. I am assuming that this is to help keep them from falling apart? I don’t know. But it all comes down to the taste, right? And these were good! I think I prefer my Faux Crab Cakes in taste, but these were still good. I couldn’t find the kelp granules so I used the sheet of nori. And once again, people, my cameras are in the shop. I guess I am going to have to start using my phone to take some blurry pics. 😦

rating: 9

Vegan Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes
(Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

makes 10 cakes

Ingredients:

For the Cakes:
8 ounces tempeh (use the nori tempeh if you can find it, but plain soy tempeh is fine, too)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (stone-ground Dijon works, too)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
1 finely chopped nori sheet or 1 tablespoon kelp granules (optional, if you like a little fishiness)
Oil for panfrying

For the Remoulade:
2 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard (stone-ground Dijon works, too)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons capers (try not to get too much brine)

For Serving:
Lemon wedges

Directions:
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 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 Vegenaise, 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 hands and form into a ball. Flatten between 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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