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Sweet and Sour Tempeh

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian


This sweet and sour tempeh is a healthy twist on your favorite takeout. The homemade sauce is just 5 ingredients and this recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes.


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (or gluten free tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (8oz) package tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or another high heat oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (optional for serving)


  1. Combine the brown sugar, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half. It should stick to the back of a spoon and be almost as thick as maple syrup.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cut the tempeh into 1” cubes.
  5. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Arrange the tempeh in a single layer in the pan.
  7. Let cook for 5 minutes on one side until browned, then flip and continue to cook until browned on the other side.
  8. Once the tempeh is browned and the sauce is thickened, toss the tempeh with the sauce until evenly coated.
  9. Divide into 4 servings and sprinkle with green onion and sesame seeds.
  10. Serve over rice, if desired.


Note: I like my sweet and sour sauce with a strong, tangy flavor from the vinegar. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, increase the brown sugar to 1/3 cup.

Keywords: Sweet and sour tempeh