Soul Tempeh: A Tasty, Healthy Recipe

Soul Tempeh is a delicious vegan concoction that mixes healthy food with fried food, American cuisine with  Asian cuisine, and bitter greens with sweet starches. A light dish prepared this way tastes great, but is not super greasy and overly filling. 


  • 18 oz brick of tempeh, chopped into 20-24 small pieces
  • 2 medium yams, peeled and chopped
  • ½ bunch of kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped, 1 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked Basmati Rice, 2 cups water
  • Canola Oil
  • Dash of Salt
  • Dash of Pepper


  • 1 medium glass bowl
  • 2 paper towels
  • 1 small egg pan
  • 2 wooden spatulas
  • 1 large skillet
  • 1 large pot
  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 measuring cup
  • 1 large knife
  • 1 masher

Preparation Time: 30-35 minutes

Deep-Fry Tempeh:

Place two paper towels in a medium-sized glass bowl and put the bowl next to the stove so you can easily reach it.

Prepare a small egg pan by pouring in about an 1/8-inch of oil. Turn to a high heat to warm up oil, then reduce to a medium heat. Carefully place 5-6 pieces of chopped tempeh into the oil, and fry all sides until they are golden brown. When they are thoroughly fried and browned, take the two wooden spatulas and use to pick the pieces out of the pan, and place them aside into the bowl with paper towels. Replace the first set of fried tempeh with a second batch, and repeat the process until all the tempeh is fried. Set fried tempeh aside to let cool. 

Sautee Kale:

Heat oil in a large skillet on a high heat, and add sliced garlic. Let garlic fry for one minute. Add a handful of coarsely-chopped kale and sautee. Gradually add more kale, and gradually pour in one cup of water throughout the process. While cooking, add a dash of salt for taste. Sautee for about 10 minutes, keeping set on the high heat, or until all of the water is absorbed into the greens. 

Mash Yams:

Boil water in a large pot, place yams in and let cook for about 12 minutes, or until soft (they can be tested for softness by placing a fork into them). Once yams are soft, drain water. Start to mash yams with a masher (if you do not own a masher, you can use a large wooden spoon or spatula). When they start to form a puree, add a dash of salt and pepper. Mash until yams are consistently soft and smooth.

Cook Basmati Rice:

Measure 1 cup of Basmati Rice, and boil with 2 cups of water in a medium pot. When the water reaches a boil, reduce to a low heat until the rice absorbs the water (this should take 10-20 minutes; each batch of rice is different, so make sure you read the directions).  

Suggested Substitute: 1 cup of quinoa instead of 1 cup of rice

Serves: 3-4 people