Easy Christmas Canapés: Poinsettia Cups with Tempeh

Christmas is just around the corner and some of us will be celebrating with our families in our own homes. It is always heartwarming to prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal for the ones you love but sometimes it can be quite stressful. This is why I have prepared a beautiful and easy canapé to share. A healthy, simple and nourishing hors d’oeuvre to begin your celebrations.

This snack is prepared into 4 parts: truffle balsamic tempeh, pickled carrot, sweet sesame dressing, and spring roll sheet poinsettia cups.

Poinsettia Cups, an Easy Christmas Canapé made with SpiceBox Organics Tempeh (Photo by The Veggie Wifey)

Truffle Balsamic Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented Indonesian superfood. This recipe is made out of non GMO (organic and safe) soy beans. Tempeh has more protein and fiber than tofu, and it is more digestible because it is fermented. SpiceBox makes this tempeh in their own kitchen in Hong Kong, so the whole process is controlled and made with care.

I seasoned this tempeh with truffle sauce, balsamic vinegar and orange juice. In typical Veggie Wifey style, these ingredients are unconventional and the combo is typically unheard of, but trust me when I say it will taste like Christmas in a cup. It’s everything traditional and non-traditional at the same time.

You can buy this tempeh here

Pickled Carrot

For this part, I used a kimchi style base to ‘pickle’ the carrot. This is the spicy element of the recipe that will really bring out the rest of the flavours. I’ve used gojuchang, gochugaru, spring onions, garlic and apple cider vinegar. You can ferment this or use it right away. Fermenting this will provide you with that extra tanginess and enhanced flavour.

Photo by The Veggie Wifey

Sweet Sesame Dressing

This is a vegan dressing that combines sweet, savory, and nutty notes beautifully together. You can use this dressing beyond this recipe (I am so sure you will). It has a mixture tahini, maple syrup and peanut oil. It is light, refreshing and delicious.

Spring Roll Sheets

I’ve used spring roll sheets to make the poinsettia cups, and it was the simplest thing to make. You can easily find these spring roll sheets in the frozen section of your grocery store, cut them up and bake them in your ini cupcake tray to create these gorgeous flower shapes.

The full low-down on how to create this is below.

Photo by The Veggie Wifey
Christmas recipe

Easy Christmas Canapés: Poinsettia Cups with Tempeh

The Veggie Wifey
Beautiful Christmas flower cups that are made with truffle balsamic tempeh and garnished with pickled carrot and sweet sesame dressing. It is easy to make and nutritious
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 oiling brush silicone will do
  • 1 Mini Cupcake Baking tray
  • 1 Stainless steel cooking pan


Poinsettia Cups

  • 6 large spring roll sheets store-bought. Cut each sheet into 4 equal squares so you end up with 24 small square sheets.
  • 2 tbsps avocado oil in a small bowl
  • 2 cups medium sized uncooked dry beans (black-eyed beans) to use as weights when baking the cups

Truffle Balsamic Tempeh

Pickled Carrot

  • 1/4 carrot shredded
  • 2 tbsps soda water
  • 1 tbsp gojuchang
  • 1 tbsp cranberry juice
  • 1 tbsp spring onions chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Sweet Sesame Dressing

  • 2 tbsp unrefined peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 3/4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/4 tsp parsley dried
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Poinsettia Cups

  • Place all the spring roll sheets on top of each other
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the large sheets in half, then in quarters. You should have 24 equal square sheets.
  • Gently brush a thin layer of oil in each mini cupcake mould in the baking tray
  • Place one square sheet on top of the mould. Lightly brush a thin layer of oil on the square sheet before placing another sheet on top of that.
  • The second sheet should be perpendicular to the first sheet, to create a flower cup. There is a total of two square sheets per mould, and both layers should be well oiled to stick together and bake well.
  • Gently push the layered sheets into the mould and pour the medium sized beans into the cups. The weight of the beans will hold the sheets down when cooking, and create an even, flat base.
  • Bake these cups for 6 minutes at 200 degrees celsius or until golden brown on the edges
  • Once these cups are ready, take them out of the oven and carefully lift each cup to remove the beans, then let each cup cool down. If you don't remove the beans right away, they will stick to the bottom of the cup, and it will be difficult remove them later on.

Truffle Balsamic Tempeh

  • In the well oiled pan over medium to low heat, add the shallots and sauté until golden brown
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and stir for a few more seconds
  • Add the tempeh and stir it into the balsamic vinegar
  • Pour in truffle sauce, orange juice and black pepper. Mix it altogether until golden brown. Turn off the heat and set this aside.

Pickled Carrots

  • In an empty jar, add all of the ingredients together.
  • Close the lid and give the jar a good shake to mix all the ingredients together.
  • You can leave this to ferment for a day or two before you use it, or you can use it right away. Fermenting this will provide you with so many benefits, and give you that tasty tangy flavour.

Sweet Sesame Dressing

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk al the ingredients together and set aside to use.

Assembly (how to layer each cup)

  • Place one layer of tempeh into each poinsettia cup, and garnish with the picked carrot and sweet sesame dressing. You can then sprinkle a little more parsley, and a paprika for some extra colour and flavour.
  • Serve warm!


This recipe is made with SpiceBox Organics: Organic Black Bean Tempeh that is made fresh in their kitchen in Hong Kong. You can purchase it here
A little more information about SpiceBox Organic Tempeh (source: SpiceBox Organics website)
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is a delicious Indonesian fermented food, traditionally made from soybeans. It is comparable to beef in the percentage of protein, high in fibre, low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol. Its rich, nutty flavour and chewy texture make it extremely versatile in vegetarian cuisine.
The process of making tempeh involves partially cooking soybeans, inoculating the beans with Rhizopus spores, and incubating until the beans become a cake held together by dense white cottony mycelium.  During the fermentation process, enzymes partially break down the soy proteins, oils and carbohydrates making them easier to digest.
Why is there white and black stuff on my tempeh? Is this normal?
They are both moulds that is edible and safe to eat! The black spots are the spores formed by the Rhizopus culture that we use, so it is fine to eat after cooking. We sell the product during the peak of its fermentation, after which the mould starts to die off after a few days. During this period, stronger flavours and aromas will also start to develop.
Is your tempeh organic and non-GMO?
Our handmade tempeh and tempeh sausage are made with 100% Organic Certified ingredients. Our soybeans are certified GMO-free.
Is your tempeh Gluten-free? Yes!
Is tempeh healthy? Yes!
Beans have enzyme-inhibitors that interfere with the digestion of protein. The fermenting process in tempeh removes these inhibitors, making the protein more digestible. Enzymes break down the protein, fats and carbohydrates in the beans. They transform the oils into free fatty acids, which contribute to the tempeh flavour. The fermentation process also makes the zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium in the beans more absorbable.
What are the health benefits of eating tempeh?
Would you believe that our tempeh has 1.4x more protein than extra firm tofu? All the carbohydrates present in our tempeh is also dietary fibre. It also doesn’t contain any sodium, cholesterol or trans fats (unless you add them as you’re cooking). It’s also an amazing source of plant-based omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids! As a fermented food, it’s easily digested by the body while bringing out unique flavours.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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