Jerked Tempeh And Mango Salad: A Spicy And Tropical Dish

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By Christopher Spiker

Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with the tantalizing “Jerked Tempeh and Mango Salad: A Spicy and Tropical Dish”. This vibrant recipe fuses the hearty, smoky flavors of jerk-seasoned tempeh with the refreshing sweetness of ripe mango. As you take your first bite, the delicate balance of savory and sweet notes will transport you straight to a tropical paradise. Perfect for a light lunch or a show-stopping dinner, this dish promises to delight your taste buds and become a favorite in your kitchen repertoire. Have you ever tried combining the fiery flavors of jerk seasoning with the sweetness of fresh mango in one amazing dish? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat! Jerked Tempeh and Mango Salad isn’t just a fantastic blend of flavors; it’s a feast for all your senses. This dish is perfect for those looking to add a bit of tropical flair to their meals without compromising on nutrition. Ready to dive into the details? Let’s get started!

What Is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a plant-based protein source made from fermented soybeans. Originating from Indonesia, it has a firm texture and a nutty flavor, making it a versatile ingredient for various recipes. Unlike tofu, which has a softer texture, tempeh provides a satisfying bite that can mimic meat in many dishes.

Nutritional Benefits of Tempeh

Tempeh is packed with nutrients. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Nutrient Benefits
Protein Essential for muscle growth and repair
Fiber Aids in digestion and promotes gut health
Probiotics Beneficial for gut flora
Vitamins B2, B3, B6 Supports energy production, brain function, and cell metabolism

Incorporating tempeh into your diet can help you meet your nutritional needs while enjoying a delicious meal.

What Is Jerk Seasoning?

Jerk seasoning hails from Jamaica, known for its spicy kick and aromatic blend of herbs and spices. The key ingredients typically include allspice, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg, and scotch bonnet peppers. These spices come together to create a robust and flavorful profile that can transform any dish.

Making Your Own Jerk Seasoning

You can easily make jerk seasoning at home. Here’s a simple recipe:

Ingredient Amount
Allspice 1 tbsp
Thyme 1 tbsp
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Nutmeg 1/2 tsp
Scotch Bonnet Peppers 2 (minced)
Garlic Powder 2 tsp
Onion Powder 1 tsp
Brown Sugar 1 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Black Pepper 1 tsp

Mix all these ingredients together, and you have a homemade jerk seasoning ready to spice up your tempeh!

Jerked Tempeh And Mango Salad: A Spicy And Tropical Dish

Marinating the Tempeh

Before cooking the tempeh, it’s crucial to let it soak in the jerk seasoning. This step ensures that the flavors penetrate deeply into the tempeh, making every bite bursting with taste.

How to Marinate Tempeh

  1. Cut the Tempeh: Slice the tempeh into bite-sized cubes or strips.
  2. Prepare the Marinade: Combine jerk seasoning with olive oil, soy sauce, and a splash of lime juice.
  3. Marinate: Place the tempeh in a bowl, pour the marinade over, and let it sit for at least an hour. For maximum flavor, marinate it overnight in the refrigerator.

Cooking the Tempeh

Cooking the marinated tempeh brings out the depth of the jerk seasoning while ensuring it is tender and delicious.

Cooking Methods

Here are some methods to cook jerked tempeh:

  • Grilling: Grill the tempeh on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • Baking: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake the tempeh for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • Sautéing: Heat some olive oil in a pan and sauté the tempeh for about 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.

Jerked Tempeh And Mango Salad: A Spicy And Tropical Dish

Building the Mango Salad

Now that you have your jerked tempeh ready, it’s time to build the other half of this delightful dish: the mango salad.

Essential Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need for the mango salad:

Ingredient Amount
Mango 2 (ripe, diced)
Red Bell Pepper 1 (diced)
Red Onion 1/2 (thinly sliced)
Cucumber 1 (sliced)
Avocado 1 (diced)
Cilantro 1/4 cup (chopped)
Lime Juice 2 tbsp
Olive Oil 1 tbsp
Salt & Pepper To taste

Combining the Ingredients

To assemble the salad:

  1. Prep the Ingredients: Dice the mango, bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, avocado, and chop the cilantro.
  2. Mix: Combine all the prepped ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Dress: Add lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss everything until well combined.

Plating the Dish

Presentation matters, especially when you’ve put so much effort into making the dish. Here’s how you can plate your Jerked Tempeh and Mango Salad for maximum visual appeal and enjoyment.

Steps to Plate

  1. Salad Base: Start by placing a generous scoop of mango salad on each plate.
  2. Top with Tempeh: Arrange the cooked jerked tempeh pieces on top of the salad.
  3. Garnish: Finish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and an extra drizzle of lime juice for added zing.

Jerked Tempeh And Mango Salad: A Spicy And Tropical Dish

Pairing Suggestions

What would make your Jerked Tempeh and Mango Salad even better? Pairing it with the right sides and drinks!

Side Dishes

Consider serving with:

  • Coconut Rice: Complements the tropical flavors perfectly.
  • Grilled Pineapple: Adds sweetness and a smoky flavor.
  • Plantain Chips: Provides a crunchy texture.


A tropical dish like this deserves a refreshing drink:

  • Mango Smoothie: Keeps the mango theme going.
  • Mint Lemonade: Offers a cool, refreshing counter to the spice.
  • Coconut Water: Hydrating and ties into the tropical feel.

Tips and Tricks

Nailing this recipe isn’t hard, but a few tips and tricks can make the process smoother and the results even better.

For the Best Tempeh

  • Steam the Tempeh Before Marinating: This helps open up the pores and allows it to absorb the marinade better.
  • Marinate Longer: If you can, let it sit overnight to really soak up the flavors.

For the Best Salad

  • Use Ripe Mangoes: They should give slightly when pressed but not be mushy.
  • Chill the Salad: Keep it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld together.

Jerked Tempeh And Mango Salad: A Spicy And Tropical Dish

Health Benefits

Aside from being delicious, Jerked Tempeh and Mango Salad offers numerous health benefits.

Protein Packed

With tempeh as the primary protein source, this dish is great for muscle repair and growth. Perfect for those who are looking to up their protein intake without relying on meat.

Rich in Vitamins

Mangoes are a fantastic source of Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, while the other fresh vegetables contribute various other essential vitamins and minerals.

Gut Health

The probiotics in tempeh and the fiber in the salad ingredients promote a healthy digestive system.

Variations to Try

Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, why not experiment with some variations?

Tropical Fruit Swaps

  • Pineapple: Swap mango for pineapple for a different tropical twist.
  • Papaya: Another great option that adds vibrant color and flavor.

Different Proteins

  • Tofu: Can be used instead of tempeh for a slightly different texture.
  • Chicken: For those who are not strictly plant-based, jerked chicken can be a delicious alternative.

Spicing It Up

  • Extra Peppers: Add more scotch bonnet peppers for an extra kick.
  • Coconut Milk: Add a splash in the marinade for a creamier texture and rich flavor.

Jerked Tempeh And Mango Salad: A Spicy And Tropical Dish

Frequently Asked Questions

You may still have some questions, so let’s address some common ones.

Can I Use Store-Bought Jerk Seasoning?

Absolutely! While homemade is always best for control over ingredients and flavor, store-bought seasoning works just fine.

Can I Make This Dish Ahead of Time?

Yes, the tempeh and salad can both be prepared ahead of time. Just keep them separated and mix just before serving to maintain the textures.

Is This Dish Spicy?

It can be, especially with the scotch bonnet peppers. If you prefer a milder version, simply reduce the amount of peppers.


There you have it—a vibrant, flavorful, and nutritious dish that brings a taste of the tropics right to your table. Jerked Tempeh and Mango Salad is not only a treat for the palate but also a feast for the eyes, making it perfect for any meal occasion. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen novice, this recipe is easy to follow and hard to mess up. Give it a try, and you might just find a new favorite dish!

Enjoy your culinary adventure, and don’t forget to share this delectable recipe with your friends and family. They’ll thank you for it!