Vine and Dine with Beer-Battered Tempeh Fish with a Tartar Sauce


This indulgent dish from Spork-Fed was a big hit with us. It’s actually from the appetizer section of the book and half the recipe (1 8-ounce package tempeh) was more than enough for 2 of us as a main dish. Of course, we had to have it with some version of “chips” on the side. In this case, it was roasted fingerlings.

I think what really made this recipe stand out is marinating the tempeh in the malt vinegar. It brings a fantastic creamy/acidic tang to the inside of the “fish”. I loved the non-fishyness of this. The recipe didn’t even include a from of seaweed for me to omit. The header to the recipe states that the tempeh is “crunchy on the outside but soft and delicate on the inside”, and I can’t say it better. We’ll definitely have this one again, but not very often since it’s not the healthiest.

Be sure to see what our Vine and Dine cohorts chose to drink with this fantastic dish. I found it intriguing that Matthew and Fred both opted for local wines! See Liz and Matthew here and Kim and Fred here. Apparently we missed out on mushy peas. But our chard was as wonderful as ever. Maybe next time?

Here’s Jim on the wine:

2008 Marquis Phillips’ Holly’s Blend

McLaren Vale, Australia

55% Verdehlo / 29% Chardonnay

9% Reisling / 7% Semillon

These guys play with their blends every year (2007 was 100% Verdehlo), and I generally shy away from their wines because they can be way over the top and finesse-less. As is this opening salvo.

But I figured what the hell, it’s a white, how abrasive can it be? To their credit, it was toned down, but had a sort of grating wanna-be-citrus top end that I imagine was closer to drinking brake fluid. I have the same complaint about New Zealand wines, They like pouring grapefruit juice into every glass of wine, as opposed to brake fluid. But same idea. Apparently the perfect Christmas gift for a lovely British woman from Stoke-On-Trent. The one with the iron stomach. No wonder.

Back to the wine: brake fluid with a splash of sweet in the finish, call it a day. One good thing about it is that it could cut through the fried factor. Matched with that tempeh, I, well, went and finished the beer that went into the batter. Just saying. It was a terrible match. I carry this shame as I write this post, knowing that this tragic low can only be improved.


Don’t forget the next Food Network Friday which wraps up on April 6th. We’re cooking Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potato Risotto from Bobby Flay. Join us!

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5 Comments

  1. Posted March 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    That looks oh so wonderful.
    Could not join this time, don’t have the book and our library is still waiting for it…
    Reminds me a bit of this great vegan Fish and Chips at Weird Fish in San Fran.

  2. Posted March 20, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Weird Fish! What a great name! When you get the book, definitely give this one a try.

  3. Posted March 21, 2012 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry about the wine tragedy Jim. Brake fluid does not pair well with crispy fish. I agree, Tami, the texture on this is wonderful.

  4. Posted March 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I love how excited Jim looks about the wine, I’m guessing this was prior to finding out it tasted like brake fluid, lol. At least you can always use it for cooking.

  5. Posted March 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Kim, it was so good!

    Maggie, ha, he did look pretty excited about it, didn’t he? :)

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