I made this delicious, vegetarian tempeh reuben sandwich for myself on St. Patrick’s Day. I loved every yummy bite, and I didn’t miss the corned beef one little bit!
Tempeh is a delicious, versatile, fermented soy bean cake that is wonderful in so many ways. I think of it as the chicken of the vegetarian world. You can find it at most natural food stores, and even some grocery stores. I like the Trader Joe’s brand that is combined with brown rice, barley, and millet.
for one big tempeh reuben:
4 oz. tempeh, sliced thin horizontally (so you have two thin pieces)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika OR chipotle powder (if you like spicy)
2 Tablespoons sherry or marsala wine
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 sliced rye bread (I like swirl)
1/2 cup (or more) sauerkraut, squeezed almost dry
swiss cheese, provolone, or mozzarella
your favorite thousand island dressing
Place tempeh slices in a bowl or container. Add broth, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, sherry, garlic powder, and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Allow to marinate for 30 to 60 minutes (or longer for more flavor.) Flip tempeh a few times during marinating process.
Remove from marinade. Set marinade aside. Heat remaining oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Fry tempeh for 4 to 5 minutes on each side (until golden brown.) Add marinade to pan with the tempeh in it and cook until marinade is evaporated, turning tempeh as needed.
Butter one side of each of the slices of bread. Heat another skillet over medium low. Place bread in skillet, buttered sides down. Place desired amount of cheese on each slice of bread (I usually use a few thin slices on each piece.) Place tempeh on one of the bread slices, followed by the prepared sauerkraut. Once cheese is almost completely melted, sandwich the bread together. Flip as needed to achieve desired toastiness and meltyness. (I know those aren’t real words.)
Slice sandwich on the diagonal. Plate. Serve with your favorite thousand island dressing for dipping. Here are some of mine: Pain is Good Thousand Island, Original Thousand Island, and My Thousand Island Dressing.