Fig Butter & Cumin Tempeh Stir Fry

*This is a re-post from mid-day Wednesday 3/7/12. My apologies if you already saw it and thanks to all who commented the first time around.

I’m in the process of making some cosmetic changes to my blog layout, but nothing tech-related comes easily for me or without an abundance of glitches.

In the meantime, thanks for bearing with things and for your patience.

Excuse me while I pour a drink…or eat rum-spiked fig butter.


If you happen to have a very plentiful, and very random, assortment of condiments taking up valuable refrigerator space, then you relate to the desire to want to find creative uses for them.

This stir fry helped me make use of on-hand veggies and use some fig butter from my from my ever-growing condiments collection.

It used up two whopping tablespoons of fig butter than I bought awhile back thinking I was going to make homemade Fig Newtons.

Evidently I was feeling the need to reinvent the wheel that day and make my own Fig Newtons.

So far homemade Fig Newtons haven’t happened, but this did. The best part is that it took four minutes. Faster than a microwave meal.

The veggies stayed crisp, the cumin added a touch of smokiness, the fig butter had a barely-there touch of sweetness that worked with the barely-there nuttiness of the tempeh. I also tossed in a sweet gherkin pickle that I diced (another random condiment) but the tangy-ness worked perfectly.

It had been far too long since I’ve had any tempeh and I was overdue. Unlike tofu which requires pressing, tempeh doesn’t and it’s ready to go from the moment you unwrap it.

Plus tempeh has texture. Tofu is great, but sometimes I just need a little more chewiness and on those days, tempeh is the calling card.



Fig Butter & Cumin Tempeh Stir Fry (vegan)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup tempeh, cubed (I used half of a package of TJ’s tempeh)

3/4 cup+ vegetables, diced (I used broccoli, green beans, carrots, asparagus, one diced sweet gherkin mini pickle)

1 teaspoon cumin (or other seasoning or seasoning blend you enjoy; paprika, garlic, onions, curry, nutmeg, saffron, Mrs. Dash blends, TJ’s 21 Salute, etc.)

salt and pepper to taste, optional

2 to 3 tablespoons fig butter

2 tablespoons water

Add olive oil to a non-stick skillet and add the tempeh, vegetables, seasonings and sautee on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the fig butter and water, stirring to create a sauce, and continue cooking for about 2 more minutes, or until desired. Serve immediately. I served it over a handful of romaine lettuce that’s in the bottom of the bowl.


Feel free to substitute another type of jelly (hot pepper jelly, sour cherry, or plum would be nice), chutney, or even nut butter (almond or peanut butter) for the fig butter in this recipe since you may not be quite as into condiments as I am and may not have a jar of fig butter in your refrigerator.

Some recent stir fry and fast savory meal ideas include:

Szechuan Shrimp Stir Fry with Fried Rice

Speaking of shrimp, as part of my relationship with FoodBuzz as a Featured Publisher, I was given a couple product vouchers for Van de Kamp’s and I selected these Butterfly Shrimp.

I have a wicked shrimp allergy but Scott and Skylar love shrimp so I put the Van de Kamp’s Butterfly Shrimp on a baking sheet and baked at 425F for 15 minutes, flipping once, and they were a big hit.

I told Scott I have one more product voucher and he said, “Get these again!” so I will.

They are otherwise $6.99 for a box of about 15 shrimp at my local Ralph’s grocery store, and Scott said, well worth it.

Another fast, fish, one-skillet, 15 minute meal was Pan Seared  Caribbean Citrus Mahi Mahi with Brown Rice Noodles (gluten free)

A vegan quickie stir fry: Apple Glazed Vegetable & Edamame Stir Fry (vegan, gluten free)

If you prefer tofu to tempeh:

Mango Ginger Maple Tofu

Or try Peanut Sauce Baked Tofu because everything is better with peanut sauce.


Do you impulse buy jars of condiments or have a wide assortment of condiments on hand?

Yes, and yes for me. And then I wonder what I’m going to do with them, but eventually, I figure it out.

Do you like tempeh? Tofu?

I like them both and they both have their place. I go in cycles with them and I can see tempeh getting back into my lineup. It’s a break-the-seal and there’s-the-meal kind of item, which I dig.

Tofu lovers, all my tofu recipes are here including a tofu preparation and cooking tips post.

Thanks for the Digital Kitchen Scale & Nutritionist Consultation Giveaway entries

54 comments on “Fig Butter & Cumin Tempeh Stir Fry”

  1. Pingback: TGIF

  2. oh my gosh homemade fig newtons would be amazing with that fig butter. They were my favourite cookie growing up!

  3. I am the queen of randome condiments taking over my life!! I’ve never had tempeh before, but you make it look unbelieveable!

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  5. Pingback: Tempeh and Cucumbers On a Stick with Brown Sugar Balsamic Reduction Dip

  6. ginger mango tofu?! fig butter!? oh my oh my. i’m so looking forward to trying these! and also feeling quite jealous that we don’t have trader joes in the netherlands.

  7. Pingback: Fig recipes | Site Title

  8. I can’t wait to try this. For the first time today I tried tempeh and I really liked it. I was looking for ways to make it and this one sounds perfect……..since I also have a jar of fig butter in my fridge to make fig newtons.

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