Vegan Korean BBQ Tempeh with Asian Slaw

Vegan Food & Living may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only ever share brands that we love and trust.

Vegan Korean BBQ Tempeh with Asian Slaw

Inspired by Korean cuisine, the fresh flavours of the Asian slaw cuts through the richness of the sticky vegan Korean BBQ tempeh in this perfect fusion recipe. Serve the two elements together as a light lunch or as part of a main meal in tacos, rolls, or wraps.

Want more vegan recipes? Try 3 issues of Vegan Food & Living magazine for just £3!

Try this tempeh and slaw recipe for a refreshingly different meal from your usual go-to. The sweet BBQ glaze is great for coating the ‘meaty’ tempeh and can even be used in tacos or wraps for a heartier meal.

What’s the difference between tempeh and tofu?

Both tempeh and tofu are brilliant meat alternatives for a vegan diet. Tofu is more common – you may not have tried or even heard of tempeh, so what’s the difference?

Tempeh is a slightly more chewy ingredient and is made from fermented soybeans, which are combined into a cake-like form, so it’s the texture that really sets it apart from tofu.

Traditionally, tempeh comes from Indonesia, but it’s now a substitute for meat used all over the world.

It has a very strong, nutty flavour and is great for soaking up sauces, which means it’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in lots of vegan recipes.

It’s also great for a vegan diet as it’s packed with protein – there are just under twenty grams of protein for every one hundred grams of tempeh!

Tofu, on the other hand, is slightly milder in taste and arguably is more difficult to season.

It’s made from soy milk so goes through more of a process than tempeh, which comes straight from the fermented soybean.

What is Asian slaw?

When you read the word ‘slaw,’ you might think of coleslaw.

Asian slaw is in fact very similar to coleslaw, but the difference is all down to the ingredients, particularly the dressing.

Coleslaw typically uses a creamy dressing often involving mayonnaise as a key ingredient. Asian slaw, however, uses a lighter dressing with Asian inspired components, such as the chilli, ginger and sesame oil in the recipe below.

The salad dressing complements the crunchy, crisp vegetables with its zesty flavours, making it an ideal side dish for any Asian inspired food.

Tempeh cooking tips

Tempeh, like tofu, can be hard to cook if you haven’t worked with it before.

You might find the flavour a little strong, but this can easily be reduced by boiling it before cooking. Covering the tempeh in boiling water and then simmering it for five minutes will bring out the mushroomy flavours and tone down that strong taste. Just drain the tempeh after and you’re ready to use it in our Korean BBQ tempeh recipe!

Another great way of cooking tempeh is to ensure it’s fully marinated before cooking.

Although the sauce in the recipe below is a great way to add flavour, if you wanted a stronger hint of BBQ you could marinate it with the same sauce before cooking.

It’s recommended that you leave tempeh to marinate for at least 20 minutes so it can really soak up all the juicy flavours.

Total Time: 25 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Calories: 505

Servings: 4


Total Time: 25 minutes

Calories: 505

Servings: 4




(Servings: 4)

  • For the BBQ tempeh
  • 1 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp tomato purée
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 0.5 0.5 cloves garlic, puréed
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 0.5 0.5 tbsp water
  • 12.5 12.5 g light brown sugar
  • 0.25 0.25 tsp sesame oil
  • 0.5 0.5 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp cornflour
  • 100 100 g tempeh, cubed
  • For the Asian slaw
  • 0.75 0.75 tbsp sesame oil
  • 0.75 0.75 tbsp agave syrup
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 0.5 0.5 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 0.25 0.25 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 0.25 0.25 clove garlic, puréed
  • 1/2 red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 0.25 0.25 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 1 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • handful of fresh coriander, chopped


  1. To make the slaw, whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar, agave, garlic, and ginger into a bowl.
  2. Add the cabbage, carrot, spring onion, chilli, sesame seeds, and coriander, and mix it all together well.
  3. Now for the BBQ tempeh. Add the soy sauce, water, tomato purée, sugar, cider vinegar, sesame oil, chilli flakes, ginger, garlic, and cornflour into a small saucepan.
  4. Whisk the ingredients together over medium heat until the sauce begins to boil and thicken.
  5. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the tempeh for 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy.
  6. Add the tempeh to the BBQ sauce to coat it and serve with the slaw.

Each 353g serving provides:

28g Fat, 5.5g Saturates, 49g Carbohydrate, 29g Sugars, 4g Fibre, 24g Protein, 2.4g Salt.


Need dinner in a hurry? Get inspired by one of these speedy easy vegan meals!

Written by

Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

We use cookies to give you a better experience on By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it