In college I was introduced to “swimming rama” at a local Thai restaurant that would quickly become a go-to for takeout during my college years. Steamed spinach and a cooked protein (my order then was chicken) smothered in peanut sauce and served over rice - it was easily one of my favorite meals.
As a lifelong lover of peanut butter, once I was introduced to peanut sauce, there was no looking back. Swimming rama and fresh rolls with extra peanut sauce for dipping are still reliable Thai restaurant take-out orders for me. When I discovered this amazing recipe for tempeh in peanut sauce a while back, it was like a dream come true to make a rama-style dish at home.
If you're not familiar with tempeh, tempeh is a plant-based protein source, traditionally made by fermenting cooked soybeans and then binding them into a firm, solid block. You may find modern variations of tempeh made with a variety of legumes and grains. Tempeh is not only high in protein, but also a good source of several minerals and B vitamins.
This Easy Rama-Style Tempeh comes together quickly, making it a great weeknight meal (seriously, 20 minutes or less!). The tempeh becomes tender by simmering in water for a few minutes, then gets coated in peanut sauce, and you add the spinach to cook just until it’s wilted. Pile it on top of cooked rice, and enjoy eating your fill of peanut sauce.
Inspired by “Saucy Stovetop Peanut Tempeh” by Caitlin Shoemaker of From My Bowl
Original publication date: April 15, 2021
This Easy Rama-Style Tempeh comes together quickly, making it a great weeknight meal and a delicious way to eat your fill of peanut sauce.
16 oz. tempeh
2 cups water, divided
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
4 Tbsp. tamari (or low-sodium soy sauce)
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
Cooked rice, for serving
Crushed peanuts and/or sweet chili sauce, for serving (optional)
I invite you to try my seasonally-inspired,
plant-based recipes to create your own
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