Coconut Curry Tempeh Recipe

Atkins Coconut Curry Tempeh
Net Carbs
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Phase: Phase 3
Difficulty: Difficult
* Any adjustments made to the serving values will only update the ingredients of that recipe and not change the directions.









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  • 0 1/2 fl oz Tap Water
  • 2 2/3 tbsp Soy Sauce Tamari
  • 2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 16 oz Tempeh
  • 0 1/2 cup, chopped Onions
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger
  • 2 cup Coconut Milk (canned)
  • 0 1/2 fl oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Lime Zest
  • 0 1/2 serving Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 0 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 0 1/4 tsp Red or Cayenne Pepper
  • 0 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 oz Cilantro


Tempeh is a cultured soy product with a somewhat nutty flavor; it takes on the flavor of a marinade or any sauce in which it is cooked.  Be sure to use tempeh with out added grains.  The key to success with this dish is to cook the tempeh long enough to absorb the flavor of the coconut sauce.  If you don't have toasted (dark) sesame oil, you can use plain sesame oil or even olive oil.  Before juicing the lime, zest it, using a zester, microplane or the fine portion of a box grater.  Be careful to zest only the outer skin of the lime as inner, white portion is bitter.  Serve with Cilantro-Lime-Roasted Asparagus.

  1. Place the water, 2 tbsp tamari and 1 tsp sesame oil in a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish and mix well.  Add the tempeh and flip occasionally for about 5-10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed by the tempeh.
  2. To a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining tbsp of sesame oil and heat for 30 seconds.  Add the onion and minced ginger, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the tempeh and cook for 5 minutes, flipping each cutlet occasionally until it is browned on each side.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, lime juice, lime zest, peanut butter, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and remaining 2 tsp of tamari and mix well.  Add 1 cup of this mixture to the saute pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 18 minutes, flipping the cutlets and stirring the sauce occasionally.**
  4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk mixture to the pan, and stir gently but well.  Cook for 2 minutes before removing from the heat.
  5. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with cilantro.

**For optimal flavor, remove the saute pan from the heat after step 3 and allow to sit for 20 minutes.  Return to the heat, add remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk sauce and cook for 5 minutes before serving.  For added flavor, toast the ground cumin in a dry saute pan over high heat, stirring constantly until it turns golden-brown and releases its fragrant aroma, approximately 3 minutes.  Toast 1/4 cup at a time and store in a glass jar for other uses.

Variation 1:  Coconut Curry Tofu

Follow the basic recipe but substitute extra-firm tofu for the tempeh.  It will not absorb all the marinade.  Instead, pour any remaining marinade in the saute pan in Step 2.

Variation 2:  Coconut Curry Vegetables

Follow the basic recipe but substitute six cups of mixed vegetables such as onion, celery, cabbage, zucchini and/or portbello mushrooms for the tempeh.  Again the vegetables will not absorb all the marinade so add it to the saute pan.

Original recipe created for Atkins by chef Mark Reinfeld.

Cooking Tip

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