Embracing the plant-based lifestyle in Malaysia

Tempeh Seaweed Cakes

Tempeh Seaweed Cakes

The last thing off my meat list before making my plant-based transition was seafood. I loved everything that had fish in it, fish cake included. Thai fish cakes were a staple order whenever I ate Thai. It’s not like I miss it now, but when I was asked by Malaysian newspaper The New Straits Times to come up with tempeh recipes, inspiration hit to offer a plant-based alternative.

Tempeh is so amazingly cheap and available fresh here in Malaysia, so to not exploit that, as a vegan or otherwise, would verge on foolish. It is a complete protein, only slightly smaller in protein percentage than meat, and contains Manganese, which is important for numerous bodily functions like sugar regulation, calcium absorption and brain and the metabolizing of fat and carbs. The nutty taste may take some time to get used to, but I find that this particular recipe downplays the strength of the tempeh flavour.

I was so excited about creating this recipe, because a lot of the ingredient list is basic and easily fulfilled at your local market. The Seaweed flakes are available at Japanese food stores, or well-stocked organic health stores.

And… you barely need any special skills to make it. A food processor does most of the work for you.

Before and after…

Fry ’em up, and your nutritious, tasty bites are ready to eat with any sauce you favor. But of course, being a Thai-inspired dish, I’d personally recommend Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce.



It also may be of benefit to know that the patties can be stored uncooked in the freezer for up to 3 weeks! They are a great emergency snack or meal addition.

Have fun!

This recipe has no ratings just yet.

Tempeh Seaweed Cakes

June 28, 2017
: 3-4
: 20 min
: 15 min
: 35 min
: Easy

A delicious substitute for Thai fish cakes, these meatless mini patties are chock-full of protein thanks to the Tempeh base. This recipe makes about 10-12 patties.


  • 2 1/2 cups tempeh, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsps potato starch
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 shallots
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 sprigs coriander
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part)
  • 1 small lime leaf
  • 2 tsps aonori (Japanese nori seaweed flakes/powder)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsps salt
  • 1/2 tsps brown rice vinegar
  • Purified water
  • Cooking oil
  • Step 1 Soak flaxseed in two tablespoons of purified water and let it stand for five minutes to thicken.
  • Step 2 Cut 1.5cm off lemongrass stalk starting from the white end.
  • Step 3 Chop coriander finely and cut lime leaf into very small pieces.
  • Step 4 Put all ingredients (except cooking oil) into a food processor and process until finely minced.
  • Step 5 Heat a 1/2cm layer of oil in a cooking pan on high heat.
  • Step 6 Mould mixture into small patties the size of your palm.
  • Step 7 Bring heat down to medium, place patties into pan and allow to cook for approx. 2 about two minutes each side or until golden brown.
  • Step 8 Serve immediately with Thai sweet chili sauce as a suggested dip.

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