Recipes > Mushroom Tarragon Braised Tempeh

Mushroom Tarragon Braised Tempeh


This comforting and flavorful dish is all about the sauce — mushrooms, Madeira wine, Dijon mustard, horseradish and tarragon are the main components of this rich and tasty dish.
  • Serves: 4
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 23,537
  • Success Rating: 40% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Sauce

Making the Sauce
  • 2 sm. shallots, minced (1/2 cup minced)
  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine (or another fortified wine)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp horseradish, or to taste
  • 2 cups Mushroom Stock (or other dark stock)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch*
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cold water


To make the sauce, heat a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Note: The large surface area of the pan will help the mushrooms get good color.

Once hot, add the shallots and cook for 30 seconds or so, then add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Let cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices, stirring frequently. Once the mushrooms start to release their juices, turn up the heat until all of their juices have evaporated and the mushrooms are nice and golden. Again, make sure to stir frequently to prevent them from burning. Next, deglaze the pan with the Madeira. Let the Madeira reduce down by about half and then add the stock. For the stock, we used this Mushroom Stock. Also note that if you do not want to use any cornstarch (or the Madiera even), the stock can be reduced down to a more sauce-like consistency before adding it to the dish.

Next, add the Dijon and horseradish and let the sauce cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, go ahead and make the slurry — by combining together the cornstarch and water. *Note: You may need to use a bit more cornstarch (or arrowroot) to thicken the sauce; it really depends on how much your sauce has reduced and the final consistency you are looking for.

The tempeh can also be prepared while the sauce is cooking.

After the sauce has cooked for about 12-15 minutes, whisk in the slurry. Once you have reached the desired consistency, let the sauce simmer for a minute or so, to cook out any cornstarch flavor.

At this point, turn off the heat, add the fresh tarragon and taste for seasoning.

Step 2: Preparing the Tempeh

Preparing the Tempeh
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 - 8 oz packages of tempeh
  • 3 tbsp oil*
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Note: To save time, rather then braising the tempeh in this step, it can simply be fried and then placed into the sauce to braise.

If braising the tempeh first — which will add moisture and flavor to the tempeh — use a large pot, and combine together the tamari, garlic and water and bring to a simmer.

To prepare the tempeh pieces, cut each piece of tempeh into about 8 to 10 thin slices, diagonally. *Note: How the tempeh is ultimately sliced will depend on what shape the tempeh was to begin with. In the end, you just want even-sized pieces to work with. Add the tempeh to the pot and continue to gently simmer for at least 45 minutes.

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.

Just before frying the tempeh, season it with salt and pepper. To fry the tempeh, heat a large fry pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil, followed by the tempeh. Note: If using a non-stick pan, the tempeh can be fried using no oil, if desired.

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.

Step 3: Finishing the Dish

Finishing the Dish


To finish the dish, place the fried tempeh into the sauce and let gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Lastly, taste for seasoning and then serve.

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


  • Mary jo D
    Mary jo D
    I was wondering if the tarragon is added at the end of cooking or earlier in the cooking of the sauce?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The tarragon is added near the end, just before the tempeh is added to the sauce. If it's added too early, it will loose its nice green color. Cheers!
  • Shann M
    Shann M
    Wow! I've just made the sauce and I'm blown away. The flavour is to die for! Can't wait to serve this up tonight :)
  • Shann M
    Shann M
    Me again. What's the best way to thin out the sauce if it is too thick? Can I just use water?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Water can be added, or a 'flavorful liquid' like stock.
  • Sharon K
    Sharon K
    Will a dry white wine (in place of Madeira) create a decent flavour combination? I know it won't be the same, but will it be decent?
  • Brian S
    Brian S
    Hello there Sharon, I would still recommend a Sherry for my first substitute choice although you can achieve a wonderful flavor with a dry white wine. Enjoy
  • Sebastian J
    Sebastian J
    What would be some interesting serving suggestions for this? Might use it at a dinner party this weekend
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Sebastian, I like to serve this preparation with millet or quinoa. For a heartier 'chew', wheat or rye berries are nice. Or, I'll cut the tempeh smaller and make a stack of corn tortillas.
  • Holly D
    Holly D
    Hi, I'm not a fan of horseradish. I guess I could leave it out but would more dijon mustard suffice? Harissa paste perhaps? Any other thoughts? Thanks!
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    HI Holly. You can just leave it out. I would caution you against adding a different ingredient like harissa that would impact the flavor of this sauce. It would be ok to add a little extra dijon or black pepper for that pungent hit that horseradish provides but taste as you go. You might be surprised to find you like horseradish in this context though : ) Lauren
  • Holly D
    Holly D
    Thanks Lauren! I might give horseradish a try but I can usually detect it at 100 paces and my taste buds really struggle! Same for its cousin, wasabi,
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Awesome Holly. Keep me posted. And, thank you for being a part of the Rouxbe community! Lauren
  • Eric M
    Eric M
    Amazing dish. I substituted dry sherry for the madeira, and vegetable stock for the mushroom stock, but did everything else exactly as instructed. The prepared tempeh is incredibly tender and flavorful, and worth the extra effort in my estimation. I only wished for more sauce. I did simmer my dish a few extra minutes as I waited for potatoes to boil, but even so, I might consider doubling the sauce recipe next time.
  • Carolyn C
    Carolyn C
    I’m not vegetarian so what meats could I use instead of the tempeh? Chicken or pork possibly?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Carolyn, Yes, both chicken and pork will work well. And, any relatively tender meat will be fine.
  • Tria W
    Tria W
    I made this last week, excellent dish, I was very pleasantly surprised. Adding the horseradish and mustard, I was a little skeptical that it might be too strongly flavored but it all balanced out nicely in the end. It is almost as if the horseradish and mustard were tamed a bit. Somewhat theoretical question- What is going on here? What are the mustard and horseradish contributing here and why is it they do not completely overpower the dish? Is something changing in the cooking process? I was genuinely surprised. Upon adding them, I could smell both pretty distinctly but after cooking for 15 minutes or so it all just kinda blended together. Had I not been the one that cooked it- I would not have even known they were there based on taste alone.
  • Tria W
    Tria W
    BTW, the mushroom stock is incredible! I can't wait to make a soup out of it!

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