Saturday, October 24, 2009

Teriyaki Tempeh

Teriyaki Tempeh

It was bound to happen sooner or later -- one of us was going to have to give a recipe a bad review. Being the non-confrontational pacifist that I am, I was hoping and praying that I would not be the first. I shudder even now, typing this, but I have to be true to the blog, the project, and you, my loyal reader. And in all brutal honesty, Teriyaki Tempeh {page 296} was terrible.

I have read over the recipe at least a dozen times since dinner, and unfortunately I can say with some confidence that I'm pretty sure it wasn't cook-error, it was the recipe.

The sauce smelled heavenly, both as the tempeh was marinating in it, and while it was cooking. I was extremely excited to try it, my mouth had been watering all day just thinking about it. I could barely keep my hands {or Supertoddler's} off it while I was photographing it. But then the dreaded moment of truth came.

Me, the Supertoddler, and the Ninjahusband all put bites in our mouths, nearly simultaneously. My first reaction was...oh no. There is something very not right about this sauce. I looked quickly to my left and saw the look on Ninjahusband's face as he slowly chewed his bite, trying to smile. We both turned around to catch a horrified look on Supertodder's face, his eyes wide. He was shaking his little head back and forth in a solemn no, his blond curls bouncing emphatically. "Oh dear..." he breathed. Oh dear indeed! Ninjahusband and I swallowed our bites, and Supertoddler spit his out. Ninjahusband waited for me to talk first. I said something to the effect of "I know you don't like it, it's okay, it's really, really terrible." And it was. The sauce was sour beyond belief, and very salty, not at all like any other teriyaki I've had. Ninjahusband and I both tried another bite or two, trying to work our heads around the flavor, but it just wasn't happening. Ultimately we bailed on that dinner in favor of trashy nachos.

Even though this recipe was terrible, I want to emphasize that this is the first time one of Robin's recipes has ever led me astray. I've tested for 2 of her books {including this one}, I own half a dozen more, and her recipes are always perfect {or close to it}. It's still possible that I did something wrong, but at this point I'm going to say it's not likely.

Sorry Robin, but I have to label this one "make at your own risk."

-- Your Friendly Neighborhood Batgirl


  1. Oh that is too bad. I am looking at the recipe now and 1/4 cup of lemon juice doesn't seem right. I wonder if there was a typo because I can't see how that would slip by testers.

    Actually it looks like the sugar isn't right. 1 tbsp to 1/4 cup soy sauce seems too little for teriyaki.

    Either way, the acid and the sugar are off though the actual elements are there.

    Too bad but you're right that it was bound to happen.

  2. Heh, I am looking at it again. :p

    It's as if the sugar and lemon juice were transposed by accident.

    1:1 ratio of soy sauce to sugar is usually right with teriyaki and then the other elements are thrown in (garlic, etc.). 1 tbsp of lemon juice to that should provide just enough acid.

  3. awwwe, now i'm sort of glad i stuck with using my own sauce when also making this tonight.

  4. Ms. Veganorama, that's what I was thinking, but I trusted Robin so I just went with it. Maybe I'll try it again someday, but adjust the sauce.

  5. It might be worth it to ask her and see if it was printed in error because it seems to be a big error. Typos and such always manage to slip through and with a book of this size, there's got to be some print errors somewhere.

  6. Like the penne/rotini thing in the Penne Chickpeas recipe I made, only the pasta shape won't kill a dish like wrong condiment ratios will.

    Thanks for the heads-up on this, though! I've been thinking of making a teriyaki sauce so I'll have to adjust accordingly if I use this.


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