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Baked marinated tempeh strips on white plate.

Tempeh Marinade

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Rest Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: About 28 strips 1x
  • Category: Marinades
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy soy-maple tempeh marinade works for pan frying, air frying, and baking.


  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • One 8-ounce package of tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips


  1. In a medium shallow dish, combine all the ingredients except the tempeh. Whisk to incorporate.
  2. Add the tempeh to the marinade. Using your hands, gently toss to coat. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or up to 4), tossing once about halfway through to ensure the tempeh is marinating evenly.
  3. To bake: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet (reserve the marinade). Bake until the tempeh is dry and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with [or spoon on] some of the reserved marinade. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  4. To pan-fry: Heat a bit of cooking oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Arrange the tempeh in the skillet in a single layer (reserve the marinade). Cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. At the end, pour in the reserved marinade and gently toss to coat. Turn the heat off as soon as the sauce thickens, after about 30 seconds.
  5. To air fry: Preheat the air fryer to 375ºF. Spray the basket with oil and arrange the tempeh in a single layer (if it doesn’t all fit, cook in two batches). Air fry until the tempeh is dry and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Then brush with [or spoon on] some of the reserved marinade and cook for 1-2 minutes more, being careful not to burn it.
  6. Add to toasts, salads, grain bowls, etc. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 5 days.


  • Serving Size: 4 strips
  • Calories: 90
  • Sodium: 125 mg
  • Fat: 5.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.8 g
  • Protein: 6.2 g