Lime and Coconut Yogurt Tempeh with Lemongrass Risotto

Lime coconut yogurt tempeh with lemongrass rissoto and baby kale
Lime and coconut yogurt tempeh with lemongrass risotto and baby kale.

Lemongrass is amazing! Not only is the plant a looker, it smells fabulous.

I have been watching videos on how to harvest, prepare, and propagate lemongrass. It’s time to use it in a recipe.

I cut a few of the fattest lemongrass shoots as close to the root as I could get. Then I removed some of the outer leaves revealing pink near the bottom of the stalk, turning to yellow and then green going up the shoot.
I cut a few of the fattest lemongrass shoots as close to the root as I could get. Then I removed some of the outer leaves revealing pink near the bottom of the stalk, turning to yellow and then green going up the shoot.
I thinly sliced the very bottom of the shoot up to where it started to turn green. Then I used a spice grinder to pulverize the sliced lemongrass.
I thinly sliced the very bottom of the shoot up to where it started to turn green. Then I used a spice grinder to mince the sliced lemongrass. I cooked the minced lemongrass with onions, garlic, and ginger as part of the risotto.
I sliced the green part of the shoot lengthwise and used the side of the knife to crush or bruise the shoot a little.
I sliced the green part of the shoot lengthwise and used the side of the knife to crush or bruise the shoot a little.
. I put the green part of the shoot in the vegetable broth at a slow rolling boil for about ten minutes. I then simmered the broth while I made the risotto.
I put the green part of the shoot in the vegetable broth at a slow rolling boil for about ten minutes.

The only method for cooking risotto that I have tried is the traditional method of adding a 1/2 cup of liquid at a time and letting that liquid reduce while stirring often. I don’t mind this method, but I have done some research and have found recipes that suggest less tedious methods.

Lemongrass risotto closeup
The pan fried tempeh made my mouth water!

To Gabe’s chagrin, I am not a huge fan of adding processed oils to our food. I know fats add flavor and are important in our diet, but when possible, I prefer to use fats from whole foods like avocado or nuts and seeds. That being said, this tempeh was awesome fried up in canola oil. It tasted so different from the marinated baked tempeh I usually prepare.

tempeh yogurt lime
Sliced tempeh, vegan coconut yogurt (plain), and fresh lime juice.

Vegan yogurt is something new to me. Recently I tried a plain soy yogurt and a plain “Greek style” coconut yogurt. I have to say I prefer the taste of the coconut yogurt. The soy yogurt brand I tried was quite sweet for a plain yogurt. I was hoping for more of the astringent qualities of plain dairy yogurt. I sliced the tempeh and added it to a marinade of coconut yogurt, lime juice and salt. I have prepared this ahead of time and placed it in the refrigerator, but I have also prepared it and cooked it right away.

Sliced tempeh coated with plain coconut yogurt, lime juice, and salt.
Sliced tempeh coated with plain coconut yogurt, lime juice, and salt.

Don’t forget the greens!!! When the risotto was finished cooking I added raw baby kale leaves, letting the heat from the risotto wilt them. Spinach would work as well.

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Ingredients

For the Tempeh

½ cup of plain coconut yogurt

2 TBSP lime juice

¼ tsp. salt

1-8oz package of tempeh, slice into ¼” strips

1 TBSP Canola oil for frying tempeh

For the Risotto

1 TBSP canola oil

1 white onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ TBSP fresh ginger, grated

1 TBSP fresh lemongrass, minced

2- 4” upper green part of lemongrass

1 cup Arborio rice

½ dry white wine

3-4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup whole baby kale leaves

Directions

For the tempeh
  1. In a bowl mix together coconut yogurt, lime and salt. Add tempeh slices to yogurt mixture, coating well.
  2. Working in two batched heat ½ TBSP oil in frying pan over medium high heat. Add half of the coated tempeh in a single layer and cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining ½ TBSP of oil and remaining tempeh.
  3. Put tempeh on a plate, cover with foil and hold in a 200F oven while cooking risotto.
For the Risotto
  1. Slice the upper green part of the lemongrass lengthwise and bruise the shoot by pressing down on it with the side of a chef’s knife and the palm of your hand. Place the shoots in a pot with the vegetable broth and bring to a slow rolling boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. In a separate pot heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and minced lemongrass. Cook for one minute.
  3.  Add rice mixing it well with the aromatics and oil in the pot. After a few minutes rice will change color slightly and become pale, add white wine. Stir often until wine is completely absorbed.
  4. Add vegetable broth in ½ cup increments, avoiding the shoots which will be discarded at the end. With each ½ cup of broth stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed before adding another ½ cup. Test rice after 15 minutes for doneness. Continue ½ cup cooking method until al dente.

 

 

 

 

 

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