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11 Oct 2012
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1:31 AM
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I've adapted a recipe from one of my cookbooks. It was a freebie cookbook from a hotel in Blackpool (Lancashire, UK). We found it on the bookshelf in the "common room" and started to copy some of the recipes down. It got to the point where I had copied so many that the hotel owner came over... A quick chat later and they gave me the cookbook. It's fully vegan (lifestyle & food) and their clientelle was mostly retirees wanting meat, 2 veg and gravy, day in, day out.

The recipe is based on "Rich Roll's Ultra Meatless Tempeh Loaf" in a cookbook called Living the farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur with Gene Stone.

So you'll need either a bottle of teriyaki sauce or a good BBQ sauce or 1 batch of the teriyaki marinade below. If you're watching sodium I seriously recommend making your own. I keep frozen minced garlic and ginger in the freezer (in ice cube sizes of about 1 tbsp) so I just used those. If you don't have them, I recommend considering a decent jarred version of each.

Weirdly the directions say to soak the tempeh (whole/as is) in filtered water for 30 minutes or more beforehand. I did do this and can honestly say I don't understand why this step is "required". It certainly made no difference to my tempeh which is not even vaguely dehydrated, so I'm omitting it from the method. If your tempeh is partially dehydrated, you may need to soak yours. In what kind of water is up to you.

1 - Teriyaki marinade


125ml tamari*
50g brown sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp sesame oil
75 ml mirin

  1. Put everything in a small saucepan, bring to the boil & simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
* tamari has a better flavour and much less salt then regular soy sauce so I don't recommend you substitute with regular soy sauce. It is also possible to get reduced salt tamari if you are desperately concerned about sodium content, but this is the only source of sodium. I've removed the added salt from the meatloaf.

2 - Tempeh Meatloaf


600g plain tempeh
1 batch of teriyaki marinade (or about 200ml of BBQ sauce or teriyaki sauce from a bottle)
150g grated sweet potato (about 1 smallish tuber)
100g grated carrot (roughly 1 large carrot)
125g grated raw beetroot (roughly 1 medium beetroot)
100g green beans, finely sliced
½ medium red onion, finely diced
½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped (1 bunch minus stalks)
1 tbsp ground cumin
8 tbsp finely ground rice flour (optional)

  1. Roughly chop the tempeh and put into a large bowl. Using your hands squidge the tempeh into a fine crumble. How fine really depends on what texture you want your loaf.
  2. Add the teriyaki marinade, grated sweet potato, grated carrot, grated beetroot (grate it onto a plate), sliced beans, diced onions, chopped coriander and ground cumin and mix thoroughly.
  3. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes to see how much juice collects at the top and add enough rice flour to absorb it all and combine thoroughly. Give it a few more minutes standing to see if any more collects and if it does, add more rice flour, stir thoroughly and stand...
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C and oil (& line if needed, I didn't) a decent sized loaf tin. My version completely filled a 1kg bread tin.
  5. Cook in the oven for around 30-45 minutes until cooked. Test with a toothpick, BBQ skewer or similar. It should come out clean.
  6. Allow to cool (slightly) before removing from the tin.
  7. There is a second baking to follow.

3 - Sauce

You can make your own tomato sauce (as in tomato pasta sauce) if you want to or if you have a nice brand of a plain tomato & basil sauce, use a jar of that. If you don't have a high powered blender/liquidiser you could use ground almonds/almond meal instead. Otherwise presoak the nuts for up to 8hrs or more beforehand. My Vitamix has no issues with unsoaked cashew nuts so that's what I'm using.

1 300-400g jar of tomato sauce
200-225g Cashew nuts (or any other you want).
¼-½ of a jar (tomato jar) of water to thin sauce.

  1. Add the nuts and the tomato sauce to the liquidiser jug along with ¼ of a jar of water and blend on high until you have a thick creamy tomato sauce. Add extra water as needed, keeping it to a minimum.

4 - Assembly

The original recipe said to mold the uncooked tempeh loaf with your hands, in to the shape of a loaf in a large baking dish, cover with the sauce and then cook it. I wasn't convinced that mine would hold shape, so I cooked mine in a Ioaf tin, sliced it up and will bake it again as we want to eat it, coating each slice in the sauce before baking a second time.
  • So assembly is based on how you intend to serve it. If it's all in one as a loaf, just turn the loaf out into a large rectangular baking dish, pour over the sauce and spread evenly over the top & sides as much as possible. Cover with foil and bake at the same temperature for 30 minutes or so.
  • If like me, you intend to serve the dish over several nights, turn out the loaf onto a chopping board and pre-slice the loaf. Use a very sharp knife and a slicing motion back and forth to slice each portion. I did 8 slices but I think you could easily make 10 slices if you wanted to. If you just cut downwards with a big knife, you'll pull the grated veg out of the loaf rather than cutting through it, tearing rather than cutting each slice. Now put however many slices you want for that meal into a oven proof baking dish (flat side down), cover with a matching portion of sauce, cover the dish with foil, and return to the oven & bake until piping hot. If the sauce isn't darkening, just remove the foil for 10 minutes.

I'll add the cooked slices with sauce a touch later once its time for our evening meal.
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