Crispy Tempeh Sandwich

Crispy Tempeh Sandwiches

Crispy Cornmeal Crusted Tempeh Sandwich with Classic Tartar Sauce and Cabbage Slaw

If I see a vegan crispy nearly anything sandwich on a menu, I’m almost guaranteed to order it. I love the combination of textures and temperatures that come hand in hand with a sandwich like that. Here I’ve made a pan-fried cornmeal crusted tempeh and served it with some classic tartar sauce and a generous helping of oil and vinegar coleslaw. We were beginning our travels in the American south where cornmeal crusted fish sandwiches are everywhere. But since fish are friends, not food, tempeh was the way to go. And as we had some fantastic tempeh from Vermont’s Rhapsody Natural Foods with us, it was meant to be. It’s a little milder than some tempehs I’ve tried and it was perfect in this sandwich!

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Crispy Tempeh Sandwiches

Crispy Tempeh Sandwich
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 sandwiches
  • 8oz tempeh, first cut into 2 smaller rectangles, then placed on their cut edge and carefully sliced half, yielding 4 pieces.
  • 3-4 tablespoons hot sauce, like Franks
  • ½ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Oil to pan-fry
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Classic Tartar Sauce
  • Quick and Simple Cabbage Slaw
  1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, cayenne and salt in a bowl
  2. Brush all sides of the tempeh pieces with the hot sauce and then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture. Make sure they are well coated.
  3. Heat a large non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium heat until hot. Add enough oil to the pan to lightly coat the bottom. Carefully add the tempeh pieces to the hot oil.
  4. Cook until the bottom is well browned and crisp, between 3 and 5 minutes. Flip and do the same to the other side. Remove from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with a little additional salt.
  5. To finish, place a generous tablespoon of the tartar sauce on the bottom half of the toasted bun. Top with a piece of tempeh and a mound of coleslaw.

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