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Kung Pao Tempeh with Mala Cashews (Raw Vegan Fusion)
Prep Time
30 mins
Dehydrating time
1 d

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.

Servings: 4
Author: Sabrina @ Straits Road Kitchen
Mala Activated Cashews
  • 144 g (1 cup) raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (gives a deep red colour; sub 1 tsp cayenne if not available)
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp raw cashew hoisin
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine (sub dry sherry for gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder
Sesame Baked Tempeh
  • 200 g (1 pack) soybean tempeh
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp Shaoxing rice wine (sub dry sherry for gluten-free)
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp Chinese five spice
Other Ingredients
  • 100 g (1 medium) red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and medium dice
  • 2 no birdseye chilli, seeded and finely sliced
  • 3 no spring onion, white and light green parts, finely sliced
  • 1 handful cilantro, stems and leaves, coarsely chopped
Mala Activated Cashews
  1. Prepare marinade. In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the cashews.

  2. Season cashews. Drain, rinse, and pat dry the cashews. Add the cashews to the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat evenly.

  3. Dry cashews. Transfer the seasoned cashews onto Paraflexx sheets. Dehydrate at 41°C (106°F) for 24hours, or until fully dry and crispy.

  4. 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.

Sesame Baked Tempeh
  1. 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.

  2. Prepare marinade. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for tempeh marinade (tamari, rice wine, sesame oil, Chinese five spice).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  1. 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.