Dean’s Tempting Teriyaki Tempeh Salad

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3 Tbsp. plus 3 tsp. turbinado sugar
1 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mirin
3/8-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
7 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 pkgs. tempeh, cut into thirds
3/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/8 tsp. salt (plus more, to taste)
1 medium serrano chili, deseeded (optional)
2 cups fresh mint, loosely packed
2 1/4 cups fresh cilantro, loosely packed
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
1 tsp. lime zest
5 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 small red onion, halved vertically and thinly sliced into crescents
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch half circles
3/4 cup diced fresh mango
3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries
3-4 stalks green onion, diced
6 oz. baby spinach
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

• Mix the 3 Tbsp. sugar, 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup mirin, and ginger slices with 3 of the garlic cloves and half of the whole peppercorns in a medium nonstick frying pan.
• Place the tempeh in the marinade and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, then flip and simmer for another 5 minutes. Carefully remove the tempeh and set aside.
• Continue cooking the teriyaki marinade for approximately 10 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat.
• To make the Asian pesto, combine the peanuts, remaining garlic cloves, remaining whole peppercorns, 1/8 tsp. salt, and the chili in a food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times, then add the mint, 1 1/4 cups of the cilantro, the basil, and the lime zest. Cover and process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as necessary. Slowly add 4 Tbsp. of the canola oil, pulsing to incorporate. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, mix the lime juice, grated ginger, and black pepper with the remaining sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Add salt to taste. Slowly whisk in the sesame oil and the remaining canola oil to form an emulsion.
• Add the onion, bell peppers, sprouts, and cucumber. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
• Chop the remaining cilantro and combine with the mango, strawberries, and green onions in a bowl. Refrigerate.
• Brush the tempeh with the teriyaki sauce and place on the grill. Brush the top with the teriyaki sauce again and cook for about 3 minutes.
• Flip the tempeh and carefully spread half of the pesto on top. Grill for another 2 to 3 minutes, then flip again and brush the other side with the remaining pesto. After about 2 minutes, flip the tempeh one last time and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.
• Toss the onion-pepper salad with the spinach. Cut the tempeh squares diagonally and serve over the salad. Top with the fruit salad and the sesame seeds.

Makes 5 servings

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