A delicious Tempeh Reuben Sandwich with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese and optional Turmeric Sauerkraut- a great vegetarian option for those who crave hearty, meaty Ruebens, but want to cut out the meat.
Remember the Turmeric Sauerkraut from a couple of weeks ago? Here it is, all wrapped up in a Tempeh Reuben Sandwich with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese – a little nod to my former restaurant Mizuna, back in the day. In the beginning, right after we opened, a woman started coming in for lunch several times a week and order the same exact thing – our Tempeh Reuben Sandwich, extra toasty. For years, my nickname for her was “extra toasty.” Since then we’ve become friends and of course, now I call her by her actual name – Lindy – but every once in a while “extra toasty” still slips out of my mouth. This is for you Lindy, extra toasty.
Now of course, know you can make this Tempeh Reuben with regular ol’ sauerkraut from the grocery store – don’t let the turmeric, or the homemade sauerkraut stop you. The smoked mozzarella, however, should not be skipped if you can help it, because it brings the sandwich to a whole other level. Locally I’ve found it at Traders Joe’s, along with the tempeh. The sandwich is pretty decadent, so I’ll make one and share half with Brian, with a very big salad on the side.
And friends, here’s where I’ll tell you how I manage all the yummy delicious food around here that isn’t always light and low calorie – I’ll just have little. That’s the secret.
That way I don’t feel deprived. I’ll have a few slow, delicious, mindful bites and pair it with a healthy salad. The moment I begin depriving myself, I usually end up eating way more than I should. Honestly, I have zero will power. So I allow myself decadence, in moderate doses, to prevent the battle itself.
You can leave the tempeh whole, or thinly slice it and make it crispy, like tempeh “bacon”. Remember to simmer the tempeh in seasoned water for 10 minutes to soften it and remove some of the bitterness.
what is tempeh ?
Tempeh is a vegan “patty” made from fermented soybeans and or grains. It is very high in protein and calcium and low in fat – with a very textured, nutty flavor. It’s very firm and doesn’t easily crumble like tofu. Many vegetarian and vegan recipes use tempeh as a meat substitute and it holds up well.
Tempeh can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores and in the natural foods aisle of well-stocked grocery stores.
how to cook tempeh?
Since it is a low-fat and high-protein food, many vegans choose to include tempeh in their diet on a regular basis. Remember to always simmer tempeh for 8-10 minutes in seasoned water to soften and help lessen its bitterness. It really makes a difference! Once simmered, season it or marinate it as you wish. It is like tofu, in that it’s a nice canvas for other flavors. So Flavor it up!!!
Brian likes his tempeh crispy, giving it a “bacony” texture. Cooking it this way does add calories though. To cut back, simply sear the tempeh whole.
Getting it crispy gives the Reuben great texture. At the end, splash it with a little soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos for added flavor and depth.
Melt Mozzarella cheese on good bread letting it get extra toasty. Lather it with whole grain mustard.
Pile up the tempeh and turmeric sauerkraut.
Then top with the toasted bread with the melted smoked mozzarella.
Now this is a sandwich folks – hearty, delicious, meaty and full of texture and flavor.
It hits the spot.
Make one and share half with a friend or family member, along with an extra large green salad.
For more tempeh recipes….check these out!
Have a delicious week!
If you like this recipe, remember to rate it and comment below!
Tempeh Reuben with Smoked Mozzarella and Turmeric Sauerkraut
A Tempeh Reuben Sandwich with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese and Turmeric Sauerkraut ( or sub regular kraut).
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 1 large sandwich 1x
- Category: Sandwich, Vegetarian,
- Method: Stove-top
- Cuisine: American
- 4 ounces boiled tempeh, sliced thin ( see notes)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- splash soy sauce or Braggs liquid amino
- 2 slices good quality bread
- 1–2 ounces smoked mozzarella, sliced or shredded
- 1–2 tablespoons whole grain mustard.
- ½ cup sauerkraut ( for turmeric sauerkraut go here)
- preheat oven to 400 (or use toaster oven)
- Slice pre-boiled tempeh into thin ⅛ inch strips.
- Heat oil in a skillet and sear each side until golden and crispy.
- Drizzle with a tiny bit of soy sauce, for flavor. Go light, taste add more if you want.
- Toast bread in the oven or toaster oven with mozzarella on one side, letting it melt.
- One the bread is toasty, lather the piece with no cheese with whole grain mustard. Top with tempeh, sauerkraut and the toasted bread with cheese.
- Cut this in half and share with a friend (or save half for later) along with a salad.
- NOTES: you can also sear the tempeh whole (not sliced) searing each side until golden and heated through, then add a little splash of soy for flavor.
Pre boiling tempeh in water or broth takes away its bitterness. Just cover in liquid, bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Prepare as normal.
Sometimes I’ll add flavorings to the water- a splash of soy sauce (or liquid aminos) and vinegar. Or Mexican seasonings if going that route. Or even garlic, salt and a bay leaf.
Keywords: Tempeh Recipes, Tempeh recipe, tempeh rueben, tempeh sandwich