Recipes > Braised Tempeh with Madeira Sauce

Braised Tempeh With Madeira Sauce


Protein-rich tempeh is gently braised to infuse it with delicious flavor. It is then pan-fried and served with a stellar peppercorn Madeira sauce.
  • Serves: 6
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
  • Views: 37,468
  • Success Rating: 78% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Braising the Tempeh

Braising the Tempeh
  • 2 (8 oz) packages of tempeh
  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 5 cups water


To start, slice the garlic and thinly slice about 8 pieces of ginger.

In a large pot, combine the tamari, garlic, ginger, salt and water and bring to a simmer.

To prepare the tempeh, cut each piece of tempeh into about 10 thin slices, diagonally. Add the tempeh to the pot and continue to gently simmer for at least 45 minutes.

Step 2: Dredging & Frying the Tempeh

Dredging & Frying the Tempeh
  • 3/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp onion granules or powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary (optional)


Once the tempeh is ready, drain onto a tray lined with a cooling rack—or something that will allow the tempeh to dry as it cools.

Place the flour, nutritional yeast, onion granules, and rosemary into a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Next, dredge the pieces of tempeh in the flour mixture, making sure the pieces are completely coated. If you need more moisture on the tempeh dip them in the braising liquid before dredging.

To fry the tempeh, heat a large fry pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the tempeh. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes on the first side, or until nice and golden. Then flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

The tempeh will also keep well in a warm oven while you make the sauce.

Step 3: Making the Sauce & Finishing the Dish

Making the Sauce & Finishing the Dish
  • 2 sm. shallots (approx. 3 tbsp), minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Madeira wine*
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch**
  • 2 1/2 tbsp non-dairy butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup cold water


Using the same fry pan, add the olive oil and sauté the shallots over medium-low heat for 2 or 3 minutes, or until translucent and starting to brown.

Next, add the wine, thyme, and bay leaves. Let simmer until reduced by half. *Note: Marsala wine also works well in this dish.

Once reduced, add the broth and the crushed peppercorns. Let the sauce cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the arrowroot and water.
**Note: You may need to use a bit more arrowroot or cornstarch to thicken the sauce; it really depends on how much your sauce has reduced and the final consistency you are looking for.

After 12-15 minutes, whisk in the arrowroot and water mixture. Once you have reached the desired consistency, let simmer for a minute or so to cook out any arrowroot or cornstarch flavor. At this point, turn off the heat, and if using, whisk in the vegan “butter.” Lastly, taste for seasoning.

To serve the dish pour this aromatic sauce over the tempeh once plated.

This dish goes particularly well with mashed potatoes and a big helping of leafy greens. Enjoy!

Chef's Notes

This recipe was inspired by Chef Tal Ronnen from Crossroads Restaurant. There is also a similar recipe featured in Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr and Chad Sarno.


  • Bonnie D
    Bonnie D
    I was curious to try this recipe and so made it this week. I had not worked with tempeh before so this was a first. I chose a 3 grain tempeh and simmered it with the aromatics for an hour. I liked how this step infused flavor into the tempeh. I sprung for a higher quality madeira wine and I think it made a difference in the outcome of the sauce. I have leftover sauce so am looking for a way to use it this week. We had braised kale and crisp polenta to go with this dish. All were tasty. Thanks for another great recipe!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Glad that you liked the recipe Bonnie. I also find it very flavorful and satisfying. Actually, come to think of it, I also made this dish this weekend for friends and they all liked it as well. As for what to do with leftover sauce...I can hear the mashed potatoes call it from here :-) No but seriously, the sauce will go well with many dishes. Cheers!
  • Myra W
    Myra W
    I made this recipe last night with red chunky mashed potatoes with the garlic buttah along with the Brussells Sprouts recipe with breadcrumbs and lemon from Rouxbe and a side of grilled asparagus. It was all so delicious that even my omnivore in-laws couldn't stop talking about how good the meal was. Thanks for another hit recipe to add to my repertoire.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thank you Myra! We are so pleased that you enjoyed this dish. That garlic buttah is pretty irresistible. ~Ken
  • Henny V
    Henny V
    I have made this recipe before, and it was very well received, however, we are now on a no-oil diet, and I was wondering if I can make this no-oil. Maybe bake it in the oven or use an air fryer?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Henny - thanks so much for your great question. Indeed you can bake this recipe and avoid the oil. I look forward to hearing about your results! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Lora L
    Lora L
    Hi! What gluten free flour would you suggest? Chickpea, mochiko, brown rice...? Thank you!!
  • Deann H Rouxbe Staff
    Deann H
    Hi Lora, Feel free to experiment with your favorite gluten free flours. Since the recipe calls for unbleached white flour, I suggest a blend of white rice, tapioca, and/or potato starch. A blend including chickpea flour might also be nice. Because you're only using the flour for dredging, not baking, I think most flour blends could work just fine.
  • Alexandra G
    Alexandra G
    I would like to know if I can replace the Madeira wine for a non-alcohol alternative, like orange juice, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar? Any advice or suggestion?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Alexandra, Thank you for your question. I often make a sauce similar to this without wine. I would follow this recipe and simply omit the wine. If it becomes too thick you can add extra veg stock to achieve your desired consistency. If you want more depth of flavor at the end you might add a bit of tamari or liquid aminos and a heavy pinch of nutritional yeast. Vinegars such as balsamic and ACV might be too strong here, although a splash towards the end might be good. You can test a drop in a spoonful to see if you like the flavor. Let me know how it goes. Lauren
  • Pea L
    Pea L
    Hi, i love this recipe! Wondering if the braised tempeh can be kept in the fridge (or even frozen) and then dredged and baked/fried at a later time. Would be good to batch the time-consuming part and then have some tasty tempeh ready(ish) to go. Thank you
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Pea! 100%, good thinking. You can keep the braised tempeh in the fridge for about 4 days or you can freeze it. When you are ready, dredge and finish. Thanks for all of your beautiful work in the course thus far! Lauren

Leave A Comment

Please login or join the Rouxbe community to leave a comment.