Sunday, July 27, 2008

Asian Pear & Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing

So you're saying to yourself "Self, it's damn hot today. I want something awesome to eat but I don't want to cook." Well, you're in luck. Go get yourself an asian pear, some tempeh, peas and wasabi powder and then make this. You will become a believer.

I love tempeh. I'm always trying to find new ways to eat it. As it turns out I was bored and flipping through Veganomicon one day and realized I'd somehow missed this recipe. I had all of the ingredients already, having bought some asian pears just that morning at the market. I don't typically like mayonnaise or anything made with it. I'm getting a little better about it as long as I don't add too much. When I make things like this I'm extra glad that I make the effort. I guess I could have made the Silken Mayo Dressing that's also in the book, but I was feeling like instant gratification and didn't feel like fooling with making a second thing. What can I say, it was hot and I was hungry.


I didn't add nearly as much mayo as the recipe calls for. My advice - just add a tiny bit, stir it up and add more to get it to the way you like things. DO make sure to take a tiny taste to make sure you have enough wasabi powder added. The kind I bought wasn't extremely hot and I didn't think to taste the dressing to check. I just sort of had a hint of wasabi flavor which made me wish I had added way more.

I bought some rice crackers and just scooped this up on those to eat it. That seemed better than using Wasa like I normally do for this sort of thing. The flavors are fantastic and go very well together. This tastes fresh and light, but the tempeh will still make it filling without making you feel heavy. A perfect summer lunch recipe. Maybe even good for a picnic or something!

Creamy Asian Pear and Tempeh Salad with Wasabi Dressing from Veganomicon

1 8oz package tempeh, diced
½ cup small, sweet fresh or frozen green peas
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 scallion, sliced very thinly
1 asian pear or other firm, crisp pear, pitted and cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1 cup Silken Mayo Dressing (from Veganomicon) or ⅔ cup commercially prepared vegan mayo (like Veganaise) I didn't use nearly this much. Just a few tablespoons was fine for me.
1½-2 teaspoons wasabi powder
2 teaspoons lime juice

In a steamer basket, steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Add the peas and steam for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the peas are bright green and tender. Remove from the steamer, sprinkle with soy sauce, and toss into a large bowl with the scallion. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Crush the cubes of tempeh a little with your hands and toss in the diced pear.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Silken Mayo Dressing or the mayonnaise, wasabi powder, and lime juice. Taste and adjust the spice level with more wasabi if necessary.

Pour the dressing over the tempeh mixture, stir to combine everything and place in an airtight container. Chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight to allow the flavors to blend.

Makes 4 servings.


  1. Wow, this salad looks amazing!! It must have tasted SO good with crackers ... yum!!

    Thanks for your tip about the mayonnaise, I'm not a fan of it either! :0)

  2. Oh yum! I don't know why I've never noticed this recipe before, because anything tempeh calls my name!

  3. This sounds delicious - I love the flavour of wasabi but am often at a loss as with how to use it!

  4. I made this once, and mixed a bit of vegan mayo with oats milk. There's no way I'm eating that stuff otherwise!

  5. Yum!! That picture is beautiful, and the recipe sounds awesome!