Serves 3

The beauty of these crumbles is their irregular shape, which char and crisp in the hot oil for a more rustic appearance and texture than their more refined sliced or cubed cousins. Use them to top a salad, stirfry, or sweet potato, or in their namesake dish, Rice Noodles with Tempeh Crumbles and Peanut Sauce.

Juice of 1 lime (2 T.)

1 T. tamari sauce

1 tsp. sambal oelek *

1 tsp. honey

1-2 T. water

1 8 oz. package tempeh, crumbled into chick pea-to-lima bean-size pieces

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Optional garnishes:

2 scallions, slivered on the diagonal

1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped

Lime wedges for serving

* Sambal oelek, the Indonesian chile paste consisting of crushed red chiles, vinegar and salt, has a distinctive flavor, but you may substitute Sriracha, crushed dried red pepper flakes, or 1 small fresh hot pepper, minced, if that is what you have on hand.


  1. Combine lime juice, tamari sauce, sambal oelek, honey, and water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 T. oil in large cast iron skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add tempeh in a single layer, season with salt, and cook, undisturbed, until deeply browned, about 2 minutes. Toss, add 1 T. oil if necessary, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until browned all over, 3–5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low, add lime juice mixture to pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is evaporated, 1–2 minutes. Transfer tempeh to a plate; season with salt.