Tempeh sandwich with hummus and caramelized onions

I’m coming back with an important update. The vegan kitchen of Dr Caligari is temporary leaving Berlin and moving to Krakow until the end of the year. If you have any suggestion about the city and Poland in general, don’t esitate to leave a comment.
I decided to publish this sandwich because today it wil be my lunch auf der Autobahn. Despites it is very simple to make, even if the endless list of ingredients should suggest quite the opposite!
I tried tempeh for the first time more than one year ago with great expectations, but…it really disgusted me! Maybe because I forgot it on the fridge for weeks and ate it raw in a sad salad? Anyway, since I’ve realized it needs a marinate I could not imagine a sandwich without it! The marinate you find here is just a suggestion, you can use wathever you want, but please, let the tempeh marinate overnight, or at least a couple of hours. You can also use another kind of dip instead the hummus, like baba ganoush, guacamole or aioli.
Ok, it’s better if I stop writing and pick up my stuff, Krakow is waiting!

Ingredients (makes 3 sandwiches)
3 sandwich breads
12 slices tempeh
1 tomato

For the marinate
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
1 garlic clove finely sliced
½ tsp toasted Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 stalks lemongrass finely minced
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp sesam oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar

For the hummus
100 gr dried chickpeas (or 250 gr canned chickpeas)
1 tsp bicarbonate
2 garlic cloves
¼ tsp cumin
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1 ½ lime
parsley finely chopped
pinch of salt

For the caramelized onion
4 red onions
75 gr brown sugar
15 ml apple vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt

The day before prepare the hummus, if you use dried chickpeas. With the canned ones you can make it jump this step. As I wrote before I suggest to prepare the marinate the day before as well, in order to get a more flavorful tempeh.

Start the hummus soaking chickpeas with 1 tsp bicarbonate and twice the volume of cold water for at least 12 hours, then cook them in cold water with a pinch of bicarbonate until tender. It takes about 2 hours. Let chickpeas completely cool in the coocking water. Drain well, peel them and reserve the cooking water.

If you use canned chickpeas you can start making the hummus from this step. Combine chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt and lime juice in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Add cumin and stir with cooking water, if it is necessary to get your fovorite texture. Finally add extra-virgin olive oil and parsley finely chopped.

For the marinate, toast Szechuan peppercorns, then crumble. Peel outer layer of lemongras and mince slightly. In a freezer plastic bag combine Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, star anise, bay leaves, garlic finely sliced, brown sugar, lime juice, sesam oil, soy sauce, sake, mirin and rice vinegar. Add tempeh and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, better if overnight.

For the caramelized onions, cut red onions into thicky slices. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a pan, add onions and stir for 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add brown sugar, reduce the heat and simmer until soft and caramelized. It takes about 20 minutes. When onions are brown pour apple vinegar to deglaze the pan. Set aside.

For the tempeh, heat a pan and brown the slices with the marinate until crispy and sticky, after taking off star anise and bay leaves.

Now it’s time to assemble the sandwiches! Spread a generous layer of hummus on each bread slice, place a few slices of tempeh, caramelized onions, tomato and lettuce.

  1. Anna said:

    Will you be posting from Krakow? Would be curious how vegan life is in Poland!

    • Hi Anna! Unfortunatly I couldn’t post from Krakow because I didn’t have a kitchen, but you can read now my vegan Krakowian guide in the new post

  2. I am impressed with your blog! Thank you for posting such delicious Polish-inspired cuisine, and of course this 🙂 I nearly went to Poznan this year, but it didn’t work out with the flight connections.


  3. A fantastic, amazing & very appetizing filled sandwich! Ooh yummmm!

    • The list is full of ingredients, but it works out with almost any kind of marinate I guess. I’m not a fan of tempeh, for this reason I’m always looking for recipes of new marinates.
      Any suggestion is appreciate 😉

      • 🙂

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