Tempeh Hash

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: About 1 hour

You’ll be amazed at how close this is to real hash. The soy and sesame seasoning enhances the richness of the tempeh and adds an interesting twist to an old favorite. Some patience is required here to cook each of the main elements separately, though you can easily prepare the components a couple hours in advance and assemble the hash at the last minute. All you need with this are some sliced ripe tomatoes or simple steamed vegetable like carrots or broccoli. Of course you might want to top this with a poached egg or two.

1/4 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or peanut oil

2 or 3 large white potatoes, peeled if you like and cut into small dice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces (about 2 cups) crumbled tempeh

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile (like jalapeo or Thai), or to taste, or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more to taste

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Put 2 tablespoons of the neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook undisturbed until the edges brown and they release easily from the pan, about 5 minutes. Toss the potatoes gently, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are crisp and golden on all sides and tender inside, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer them to a platter or baking pan.

Put 1 tablespoon of the remaining neutral oil into the skillet and return the heat to medium-high. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits, until it is deeply colored and crisp on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tempeh to the potatoes, but don’t stir them up yet.

Put the last tablespoon of the neutral oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, a minute or two. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 20 minutes. When done, remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the chile, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar. (The hash may be prepared to this point and assembled up to 2 hours later.)

To finish the dish, put the onion mixture over medium heat. Return the tempeh and potatoes to the skillet and stir for a few minutes until hot and sizzling. Add the chile-soy mixture and toss to coat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the bell pepper and cilantro. Taste and add a little salt if necessary and lots of black pepper.

Variation

Tempeh Hash with Kimchi. Hot and vinegary: Omit the chile. Coarsely chop 1 cup Kimchi and add it to the hash along with the bell pepper and cilantro in Step 5.