Tempeh has an almost meaty texture and a strong flavor. The fried tempeh can be made ahead. It will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.Meal Plan: POP SOME FROZEN HORS D’OEUVRE–SIZE SPRING ROLLS IN THE OVEN TO SERVE ON THE SIDE.
In small skillet, combine soy sauce, 1⁄4 cup water, garlic and ginger. Add tempeh to skillet in single layer. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Transfer tempeh to plate; rinse and dry pan.
In same skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add tempeh back to pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat.
In large bowl, combine, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, lettuce, cilantro and sesame seeds. Slice tempeh into 1⁄4-inch-thick squares, then add to salad. Toss to mix.
Make dressing: In small bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve right away.
Adapted from The Best Vegetarian Recipes, by Martha Rose Shulman (William Morrow, 2001).