Now that kimchi has hit the mainstream, it’s time to work its umami-fiery crunch into more of your cooking repertoire, including this punchy salsa that adorns a plant-based tempeh filling that brings even more umami oomph to the table. Served in fresh-tasting lettuce leaves, the whole dish is a riot of appetizing colour. For taco night, you can also scoop everything into warmed corn tortillas.
If eating only plants, be sure to choose a brand of kimchi that is not made with a fish product such as anchovies or fish sauce.
2 – 7 oz (200 g) packages plain tempeh
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed or sunflower oil
1 cup (250 mL) peeled and chopped red onion
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and grated, about 3 cups (750 mL) grated
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
2 Tbsp (30 mL) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) chopped kimchi
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup (250 mL) halved cherry tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 cup (250 mL) diced pineapple
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped cilantro
12 large leafy lettuce leaves
With the large holes of box grater, crumble tempeh, or finely chop with knife.
In large skillet over medium, heat oil. Add onion and heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add tempeh and sweet potato to pan and heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until grated potato is very tender. Add a splash of water to prevent it from sticking. Stir in tomato paste, soy sauce, and paprika; heat for 1 minute.
In large bowl, toss together kimchi, avocado, tomatoes, bell pepper, pineapple, green onions, and cilantro.
To serve, divide tempeh mixture among lettuce leaves and top with kimchi salsa. Serve with lime wedges.