Tempeh is a typical Indonesian food mainly composed of fermented yellow soybeans. You will notice its texture is firm and similar to tofu and seitan which are other popular meat substitutes among vegans. Tempeh’s flavour is intense, earthy and slightly nutty. You can serve it in many different ways: fried, steamed, shredded into soups, sliced and topped with sauces.
Tempeh is packed with protein which makes it more nutritious than tofu. As a gluten-free dish it is suitable for people with celiac disease. It is rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
You are most likely to have tasted the tempeh while dining in an Indonesian restaurant or you have come across it in health food stores. Making your own tempeh at home will save you time and money and teach you a new skill. Though the preparation might seem long the steps are simple.
Have you tried making tempeh at home?Print
Tempeh is a typical Indonesian food mainly composed of fermented yellow soybeans
- 3 cups dried yellow soybeans
- 5 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tempeh starter (Rhizopus oligosporus, available in health food stores and online)
- In a large glass bowl soak soybeans for 12 hours. You can do that in the morning before leaving for work and continue the tempeh preparation in the evening. Or you can do it a night before you go to sleep so that you can start cooking the next day.
- De-hull and split the beans after 12 hours of soaking. You will notice that most hulls are floating on the surface while soybeans are on the bottom of bowl. Firstly de-hull soybeans then split them in halves. This is the most time consuming task and it may take 30 minutes to complete.
- Cook the soybeans and add vinegar. Firstly drain soybeans, then place them in a large pan and cover them with fresh water. Bring to boil. Add white vinegar and cook for 30 minutes.
- Dry the beans and add tempeh starter. Drain your soybeans once again and cook over low heat until they are completely dry. Let them cool down on the room temperature. Add tempeh starter and stir thoroughly.
- Make compact loaf. Place the mixture inside plumcake mold and press carefully to obtain a compact loaf. Cover the mold with plastic wrap and prick it to allow air to circulate.
- Let it ferment. Put your mold in a warm place with a temperature between 28°C and 32°C (for example in oven with just the light on). Temperature shall be stable to allow fermentation.
- In summer, you can just place your mold in the hottest room of your house, but you may also find new and original ways of achieving the right temperature, like using a yoghurt maker or a lamp to be placed above the mold.
- Ready to be served. After 48 hours you should see a white coating over the surface of your tempeh which means tempeh is ready to be served. You can eat it raw if you prefer slightly bitter taste otherwise cook it to get the nutty flavour.
- Storage. You can keep tempeh in airtight bags or containers in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Equipment: large glass bowl, large pan, plumcake mold and plastic wrap
- Cuisine: Indonesian
- Serving Size: 2 ounce
- Calories: 162
- Sodium: 9 mg
- Fat: 9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 9 grams
- Protein: 15 grams