Purists in the audience will think that a Reuben just isn’t a Reuben without pastrami, swiss cheese, or Thousand Island Dressing. Well you can’t get any of those ingredients in London and, chances are, I wouldn’t eat them anyway. In my eyes, the sauerkraut makes the Reuben, and until yesterday I would have said that rye bread does, too. But my latest sandwich creation proved otherwise.
I only had some leftover chive bread to work with, baked using 101 Cookbook’s cornbread recipe (which tasted little like corn but a lot like chive, hence my terminology). The oniony flavor of the bread turned out to be surprisingly good with the smokey tempeh and saurkraut.
In place of Thousand Island Dressing, I use avocado and tomato. In place of pastrami, I use tempeh, cooked according to Your Vegan Mom’s Smokey Tempeh Slices recipe (found thanks to Veggie Meal Plans). Her recipe calls for less tempeh and no marinating. I doubled the tempeh and marinated it over night, which was delicious, but if you don’t have my kind of food-obsessed foresight, marinating is not necessary according to her original recipe.
You’ll notice from the picture that I also use lettuce leaves for the top slice of bread. This is optional, and not really encouraged. I do it because I’m small and really don’t need two hearty slices of bread (especially when having soup with the meal!). But you normal-sized people should add a second slice to the deck and eat the sandwich like it was intended.
The recipe makes enough tempeh for a few sandwiches and the leftovers are great for quick sandwiches – perfect for packed lunches!
Tempeh Reuben Sandwich
You don’t need to marinate the tempeh over night but it does add to the flavor. Mayo is also quite good in place of the avocado.
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup water
1 8 oz. package tempeh, sliced thinly
salt and pepper
- Combine the soy sauce, balsamic, maple syrup, liquid smoke and water in a shallow dish. Add the tempeh slices and marinate for as long as you can be bothered.
- Heat a little olive oil in a nonstick pan.
- Add the tempeh slices and pour the marinate on top. Simmer until the liquid has reduced. Brown the tempeh on both sides.
- While the tempeh is cooking, heat up the saurkraut and toast some bread.
- Top the bread with avocado, tomato, salt and pepper, saurkraut, as much tempeh as you can handle, and a little lettuce.
- Eat and enjoy!