Vegan Instant Pot: Gado Gado Salad with Lemongrass Tempeh Recipe

Vegan Instant Pot: Gado Gado Salad with Lemongrass Tempeh Recipe - Don’t be fooled by the word “salad” in this recipe title it’s actually a hearty Indonesian meets Sri Lankan feast. Steamed and raw vegetables are napped in a rich and spicy coconut-peanut sauce, and pan-fried tempeh is coated with a sweet lemongrass glaze.
The tempeh is inspired by a dish called Tempeh La La from Malabar in Santa Cruz, California, a gem of a Sri Lankan restaurant where I ate at least once a month during my college years.

Serves 4
Vegan Instant Pot: Gado Gado Salad with Lemongrass Tempeh Recipe

Ingredients for Vegan Instant Pot: Gado Gado Salad with Lemongrass Tempeh Recipe:

  • 12 ounces (10–12) fingerling or creamer potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 8 ounces (4 medium) carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks
  • 8 ounces green beans, stem ends trimmed
  • 6 cocktail-sized tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced

Peanut Sauce
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 6 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
  • 1 (12-ounce) package tempeh, cut into ¼ by 2-inch slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 tablespoon seedless tamarind paste, broken up in 1 cup water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, bottom 8 inches cut into 2-inch lengths, and bruised
  • ¼ cup turbinado or organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • Steamed rice for serving

Directions for Vegan Instant Pot: Gado Gado Salad with Lemongrass Tempeh Recipe:

  1. To make the salad: Add 1 cup water to the Instant Pot and place a wire mesh steamer basket inside. Add the potatoes, carrots, and green beans to the steamer basket.
  2. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Steam setting and set the time for 2 minutes at low pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  3. While the vegetables are steaming, make the sauce: In a widemouthed mason jar, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, brown rice syrup, lime juice, sambal, salt, and garlic. Use an immersion blender to blend for about 1 minute, until smooth.
  4. When the cooking program ends, perform a quick pressure release by moving the Pressure Release to Venting. Open the pot and use a pair of tongs to transfer the vegetables to a dish to cool.
  5. While the vegetables are cooling, make the tempeh: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add half of the tempeh and sear for about 8 minutes, turning once halfway through, until it is light golden brown. Transfer the tempeh to a paper towel–lined plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet. Repeat the searing step with the remaining half of the tempeh and transfer it to the plate.
  6. Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté for about 30 seconds, just until it begins to brown. Add the sambal, tamarind mixture, lemongrass, and sugar. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated and you have a reduced, syrupy sauce. Remove the lemongrass. Return the tempeh to the skillet and toss with the sauce until evenly coated. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the fried shallots on top of the tempeh.
  7. To serve, arrange the steamed vegetables on serving plates, along with the tomatoes and cucumber. Spoon a generous amount of peanut sauce over the vegetables, and top with chopped peanuts. Serve the tempeh and rice alongside.

If you do not already have cooked rice on hand, you can cook it in the Instant Pot according to the instructions on this page, after steaming the vegetables, while you are preparing the tempeh in a skillet on the stove.

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