Start Cooking Vegetarian!—Asian Noodle Bowl with Seared Tempeh

By on September 4, 2012

By Meredith Kimelblatt –

A lot of people, especially those who have been grilling chicken breasts their entire lives, are intimidated to cook vegetarian meals. There are two major misconceptions: the first is that the products needed for balanced, vegetarian meals are extraordinarily expensive and the second is that vegetarian dishes don’t include anything besides lettuce and other “rabbit food.”

But vegetarian meals can be so much more than salads! Vegetarian recipes also tend to be great for your health; black beans, tofu, tempeh and whole-grain rice all have numerous health benefits and best of all, can all be easily found in your average grocery store. It is absolutely possible to find delicious, budget-friendly vegetarian ingredients, so there’s no need to break the bank at the pricey organic market.

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This recipe for an Asian Noodle Bowl with Seared Tempeh is a great dish to start the transition from meat-eater to veggie-lover. It uses soy-based tempeh, noodles, tons of vegetables and a delicious sweet and sour sauce to give you the feeling of eating out of the carton from your favorite Chinese takeout place, except that it’s way healthier than anything you’d get from a restaurant—only 407 calories per serving! And it tastes so good that you won’t even notice you’re eating healthy tempeh instead of beef or chicken. Try it out for dinner this week and you’ll feel like a vegetarian in no time.

Asian Noodle Bowl with Seared Tempeh


Prep Time: 40 min

Servings: 4 (1 1/2 cups per serving)

Calories per Serving: 407


  • 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 package Organic Soy Tempeh
  • 6 oz thin vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1/8 tsp oriental sesame seed oil
  • 2 Tbsp plus 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2/3 cup 1 1/2 inch long, matchstick-cut red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup 1 1/2 inch long, matchstick-cut carrot
  • 1/2 cup thin diagonally sliced snow peas
  • 2 large green onions, diagonally sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded; cilantro sprigs; or 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)

First, prepare your Sweet and Sour Asian Sauce. Combine 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper. If you’re a ginger fan, add in a 1/4 teaspoon. Set the sauce aside for now.

Place your noodles in large bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover; let stand about 10 minutes or until softened. Rinse with cold water and squeeze to drain well. Cut noodles in half or into thirds; return noodles to bowl. Add sesame oil; toss until evenly coated and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy skillet. Add half of the tempeh to the skillet in a single layer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and crisp, turning pieces over halfway during cooking. Transfer to a medium bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and remaining tempeh. Pour half of the sauce mixture over the tempeh in bowl; toss to coat tempeh and set aside.

To the hot skillet, add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add the bell pepper, carrot, snow peas, and green onions; cook and stir about 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Transfer to the bowl with noodles. Add tempeh mixture; gently toss until combined.

To serve, spoon noodle mixture into individual bowls; drizzle with remaining sauce. Garnish with basil, cilantro, or sesame seeds.


Meredith Kimelblatt writes on behalf of Lightlife. Lightlife products are perfect for anyone looking to live a healthier lifestyle or adopt a vegetarian diet. For more vegetarian recipes, visit

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Start Cooking Vegetarian!—Asian Noodle Bowl with Seared Tempeh