Recipes > Lemongrass Tempeh Stir-Fry

Lemongrass Tempeh Stir Fry


This highly flavorful Vietnamese-inspired stir-fry is made with tempeh, lemongrass, garlic and green chiles.
  • Serves: 2 to 3
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Views: 29,181
  • Success Rating: 37% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup freshly minced lemongrass
  • 1 to 2 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 to 5 cloves)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp minced jalapeño chiles
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock**
  • 1 tbsp Fish-Less Fish Sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 sm green pepper, sliced into matchstick-like pieces*
  • 1 can (8oz) water chestnuts, sliced*


The vegetables (and tempeh) are all meant to be cut into a similar shapes and thicknesses. By this we mean the onions are sliced, the celery is sliced on the bias, the green peppers are cut somewhere between batonnet and julienne —  even the water chestnuts are sliced, rather than diced. This just gives the stir-fry another layer of texture and mouth-feel.

As for the amounts of certain ingredients, they are flexible. Meaning, if you really like lemongrass, garlic and spice, then you might want to add the higher amounts of those ingredients. Perhaps for the first time, start with the smaller amounts and then the second time, use the higher amounts — either way the stir-fry will still be delicious.

Combine the stock and Fish-Less Fish Sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

*Note: If you can, use fresh water chestnuts. They are superior in flavor and texture. To prepare the water chestnuts, simply cut off the top and bottom and peel the exterior with a vegetable peeler. Place into cold water to prevent them from oxidizing. Drain and slice just before using.

**Note: Vegan/vegetarian “chicken” flavored stock works really well in this recipe — see notes below for more information.

Step 2: Preparing the Tempeh

Preparing the Tempeh
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 200 gr sliced tempeh*
  • 1 tsp peanut oil


To prepare the tempeh, slice the into 1/4"-inch thick, matchstick-like pieces.

Combine the tempeh, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl. Gently toss to combine. Add the peanut oil and gently toss again to coat. Set aside.

Step 3: Stir-Frying the Dish

Stir-Frying the Dish
  • 1 to 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced on the bias


To stir-fry the dish, line the ingredients up in the proper cooking order. Heat a wok over high heat. Once hot, add the oil, immediately followed by the tempeh. Let fry, without tossing, for a minute or so.

Once it starts to color, toss and continue to stir-fry until the tempeh is golden brown on all sides. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Add a touch more oil, followed by the onions. Let cook for 30 seconds or so and then add the celery. Let cook for another 30 seconds or so and then add the green peppers and water chestnuts. Stir fry for approximately 30 seconds or so and then add the aromatics. Stir fry until fragrant.

Return the tempeh to the wok and gently toss to combine. Add the stock mixture and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Toss to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until just cooked through. Lastly, add the sliced green onions and serve immediately.

This stir-fry goes particularly well with rice and big dollop of sambal oelek.

Chef's Notes

Better Than Bouillon makes a very tasty No Chicken Base that really gives certain dishes that added depth of flavor. They do a pretty good job of achieving that rich flavor and mix of spicesIt. It does have a few added ingredients that might not be the best for you, such as Maltodextrin, but I only ever use a little bit, from time-to-time, so personally, I am okay with it.

Edward & Sons also makes Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cubes; however, when compared side-by-side, the Better Than Bouillon seems to win the taste tests. Try them both out and see which one you prefer.

For more images of this recipe and how the ingredients were cut etc. go to our Rouxbe FBpage/photo album of this recipe.


  • Karlie K
    Karlie K
    The layers of flavors in this dish are incredible. I love the way the tempeh is treated—great texture.
  • Mavis F
    Mavis F
    not seeing when the chestnuts are added to the stirfry
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Mavis, you can add them along with the bell peppers. Thank you for your feedback!
  • Claudia A
    Claudia A
    where do you get fishless-fish sauce? i looked on amazon and they only carry actual 'fish sauce'...can i use this (I'm not vegetarian)?
  • Belinda F
    Belinda F
    Are there nutrition notes with any of the recipes? Thanks
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Belinda. We do not have nutrition notes but there are many awesome websites that calculate the nutrition profile for any recipe you submit. Here is one: Thanks for your question! Lauren
  • Donna R
    Donna R
    Can you prepare this dish without the oil.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Donna: for this dish, I would follow all the prep for the tempeh, then roast it at 425°F until golden brown. For the vegetables, you can do a no-oil sauté, and add the tempeh just before the vegetables are done. Have fun cooking! Char

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