Submitted by Damaris Phillips
- FOR THE TEMPEH BACON:
- 8 ounces (225 g) organic tempeh
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 4 to 6 tablespoons (55 to 80 g) salted butter
- FOR THE SPREAD:
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
- 8 ounces (225 g) cream cheese, softened
- 11/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 11/2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 slices country wheat bread, toasted
- 2 cups (40 g) baby arugula
MAKE THE TEMPEH BACON: Slice the tempeh lengthwise into twenty pieces and lay them in a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33-cm) baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, liquid smoke, and hot sauce, then pour over the tempeh. Marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Much of the liquid will be absorbed.
Carefully and working in batches if necessary, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the tempeh bacon until very dark and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes per side. (I flip them using two forks so they don’t break.) Add butter to the pan as needed. Remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack to cool.
WHILE THE “BACON” IS COOKING, MAKE THE SPREAD: Grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap the grated cucumber in cheesecloth and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible.
Combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the cucumber and onion and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To assemble the sandwiches, divide the cream cheese mixture evenly among 4 slices of bread. Break the strips of “bacon” in half and top each sandwich with six halves. Top with arugula, then cover with the remaining slices of bread and press down firmly. Slice the sandwiches diagonally and serve.