Huli-Huli Tempeh.

I’m happy. I’m off to Maui early next month and I simply cannot wait. Coconut bagels, fresh lilikoi, picking strawberries on the bright green Kula hillside, a long horseback ride through the jungle are filling my thoughts and dreams. It feels so good to look forward to it.

In the aloha spirit, I’ve been in my kitchen inspired to create healthier, plant-based versions of classic Hawaiian dishes. Huli-Huli chicken has been part of Hawaiian cuisine since the 1950’s. Huli means “turn” in Hawaiian and refers to the cooking method used to cook the chicken which is also basted in a special teriyaki sauce as it cooks. I am really happy to present you with this super delicious recipe.


Huli-Huli Tempeh

*This recipe requires advanced preparation. You will need to plan several hours or preferably one day in advance. The majority of the time is inactive.


1/2 c fresh pineapple juice

2 8oz packages of tempeh, cut into triangles

1/3 c ketchup

1/3 c tamari + 3 tbsp, divided

1/4 c brown sugar

 1/4 c organic, humane honey–farm fresh is best (sub agave or Bee Free Honee)

2 tbsp sherry

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

3 tbsp sesame oil, divided

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp  vegan worchestershire, I like Wizard brand

pinch red pepper flakes


Prepare a steamer basket in a pot of water. Steam the tempeh for 7 min. Combine the pineapple juice and 3 tbsp tamari. Marinate tempeh for a few hours or overnight. The tempeh should absorb all of the liquid. When you’re ready to make the huli-huli sauce, combine ketchup, 1/3 c tamari, brown sugar, honey, sherry, sherry vinegar, 1 tbsp sesame oil, ginger, garlic, worchestershire and red pepper flakes with a whisk. Marinate the tempeh in the huli-huli sauce for several hours (3+).

When you’re ready to cook, preheat a large grill pan and add 2 tbsp sesame oil. Add some tempeh pieces along with some of the marinade. Cook the tempeh for several minutes remembering to flip the tempeh and brush it with more marinade if the pan becomes dry. Don’t let the pan become dry. Cook your tempeh in batches if necessary adding more marinade with each batch until all of the marinade is gone. It will become deliciously caramelized and sticky as it cooks.

I served this tempeh over brown coconut rice with preserved lime.

This is what the tempeh looks like when still hot. The photo up above was a next day photo so I could get better light. :)
This is what the tempeh looks like when still hot. The photo up above was a next day photo so I could get better light. 🙂


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