In just a few weeks I will be leaving for Indonesia. I am unbelievably excited, and nervous too. Just a couple of days ago I found out that I have a host family in Yogyakarta (pronounced jōg-jə-kär-tə, and sometimes shortened to Jogja) making me all the more excited. I feel nostalgic, too, for something I haven't even left yet; I haven't even left and I'm already beginning to feel the weight of how much I'll miss everyone.
With just a few more weeks in the states, it seems like I should be doing crazy things - but really, things have been pretty normal. Though I've been trying to learn some Bahasa Indonesia and I have just recently started to contemplate how one goes about packing for a year abroad, for the most part things are the same as usual.
I stumbled upon this recipe a little while ago when we were in the middle of a hot spell - the perfect time to have burgers (so maybe it wasn't the best time to be turning on the oven, but it was definitely worth it). Incidentally, these delicious vegetarian burgers combine a traditional food made in Indonesia - tempeh - with something as quintessentially American as a good ol' burger.
Now, how cool is that?
And it couldn't be a better combination. The tempeh is delicious marinated, it's moist, and it doesn't crumble apart like many homemade veggie burgers do.
I think they are best covered in melted cheddar, with crisp boston lettuce, ripe tomato, and maybe some avocado, too, next time. But however you like your burger - with mayonnaise or mustard, ketchup or sauerkraut, peanut butter or strawberry rhubarb jam - there's no denying these tempeh burgers are good.
from L.V. Anderson
from L.V. Anderson
The tempeh I bought was about 1-inch thick and made for some very substantially sized burgers. Next time I plan on slicing the tempeh in half to make more reasonably sized 1/2-inch thick tempeh burgers.
If you would like to make burgers that are about 1-inch thick you'll need two pounds of tempeh, rather than just one, to make six burgers.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound tempeh, cut into 6 equal squares (see my note above)
4oz cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (optional)
6 hamburger buns
Boston lettuce, tomato slices, avocado, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and/or anything else you can think of
Heat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together soy sauce, olive oil, shallot, garlic, honey, and thyme. Arrange tempeh squares in a baking dish in a single layer and pour the marinade over them. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the tempeh over. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until the tempeh has absorbed all of the marinade.
Top the tempeh with the cheddar and continue to bake until the cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve the tempeh burgers on buns with your desired accompaniments.