A fresher and lighter version of kung pao. Tempeh is marinated in traditional seasonings sans starch and baked instead of fried to a crisp exterior in the oven. Aromatics and spices are packed into the cashews to create mala-coated activated cashews. Vegetables (peppers, spring onions, chillies) are simply chopped. These are tossed together to create a kung pao salad that is still packed with the numbing-spicy paresthesia, but a whole lot fresher.
Prepare marinade. In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the cashews.
Season cashews. Drain, rinse, and pat dry the cashews. Add the cashews to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat evenly.
Dry cashews. Transfer the seasoned cashews onto Paraflexx sheets. Dehydrate at 41°C (106°F) for 24hours, or until fully dry and crispy.
Store cashews. Remove from dehydrator and let cool to room temperature. Store the mala cashews in an airtight container at room temperature. Best consumed within one month.
Boil tempeh. Bring a pot of water to boil. Trim and cut the tempeh to 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) cubes. When the water reaches a boil, add the tempeh and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Prepare marinade. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for tempeh marinade (tamari, rice wine, sesame oil, Chinese five spice).
Marinade tempeh. Add the boiled tempeh to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat evenly, then set aside for 30 minutes or longer to allow the flavours to infuse.
Bake tempeh. Heat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Place the seasoned tempeh on a parchment-lined or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the exterior is firm to the touch and just beginning to tan.
In a large bowl, toss together the baked tempeh, red bell pepper, chilli, spring onion, cilantro and a handful of mala-activated cashews. Transfer to a serving plate. Enjoy with rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.