Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My friend Alex, cleverly re-interpreting "BYOB," brought a loaf of vollkornbrot to a party I threw this past weekend.

Although the first ruben I made with this bread was prettier and more interesting, I learned the limits of my combinatory palate.  Here's what I did the first time:


Tempeh-Kimchi Ruben (take one)
  • toasted rye bread
  • tempeh (makes 2): marinated the tempeh (cut into four thin square pieces) with 1/4 onion, thinly sliced in rings, 1/4 c soy sauce, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground mustard, 1/4 tsp caraway; then pan-fried tempeh and onions 3 minutes on each side, then braised with remaining marinade.
  • dressing: vegenaise, chili-garlic sauce, and a little bit of yellow mustard, thinned to desired consistency with water
  • kimchi
Ok, it was good, but every time I bit into a piece of ginger in the kimchi, it clashed with the caraway on the tempeh.  It was just a little too weird for me.  So I went out and got some plainer pickled cabbage and made it again (with the same tempeh), adding avocado:

... not as pretty, but a whole lot more cohesive in terms of taste.  Delicious!

Still, this felt like a bit of a defeat.  My kimchi-tempeh ruben could have achieved world peace!  Tempeh already had diplomatic aspirations!

Here's what I've concluded, though it's as yet still untested.  I think my gingery kimchi could be part of the most amazing ruben of all time, but we're going to have to lock caraway out of the party.  I suggest a new marinade for the tempeh (see "version two").

1 comment:

janet @ the taste space said...

Julia, you are too funny. I love your sandwich analysis for Reuben perfection! Kimchi works really well with your chickpea omelettes, though. :)