What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a cake, similar to a very firm veggie burger. Traditional tempeh is a soybean cake that has a rich smoky flavor and aroma, with a firm nutty texture. The soybeans are fermented and inoculated with the mold spores of rhizopus oligosporus. Use the cooked TPS cakes as a replacement for meat in many recipes. Tempeh works well for making tacos, hamburgers, and our favorite…the grilled Tempeh Reuben with raw sauerkraut! If you live in Indonesia, you can buy tempeh starter easily. In the USA, buying the starter spores can be a bit difficult; however, to make tempeh is not too hard. Many commercially prepared brands add other grains, such as barley, also adding spices and extra flavors. All this you can do yourself at home by adjusting the recipe. Although tempeh is a soy product, it has a unique taste and a mildly smoky flavor, unlike tofu.
Tempeh is fermented soy food that originated on the island of Java in Indonesia and is fermented with the mold
Rhizopus oligosporus. Fermentation of tempeh can involve a period of several days or longer, and fermentation is
usually carried out at temperatures of 85-90°F/29-32°C. Tempeh is usually purchased in a cake-like form and can be
sliced in a way that is similar to tofu. However, tempeh has a less watery texture than tofu, and in comparison to non-
fermented tofu, a more distinct flavor as well. Steaming, baking, and frying are all popular ways of preparing tempeh
in many countries. Tempeh is also commonly incorporated into stews, soups, and grilled kebabs.
To understand more about tempeh’s health benefits, it can be helpful to think not only about fermentation of
soybeans into tempeh, but about fermentation of foods in general.
How to Use Tempeh
Because it is a low-fat and high-protein food, many vegetarians choose to include tempeh in their diet on a regular basis. Try adding some to a stir fry instead of tofu, or crumble into soups or meatless chili for added bulk and protein. Because of the tempeh cakes firm texture, the tempeh should be sliced into small dices, cubes, or slices as the recipe calls for. Find tempeh in the refrigerated section of most health food stores and in the natural foods aisle of well-stocked grocery stores. However, for the best and cheapest tempeh, one should make a fresh home-made tempeh product.
With a fresh tempeh cake, the finished product is cut and prepared for the entrée desired. Cutting it into ¼” strips and marinating is great for sandwiches, tempeh bacon, or the feel of cut steak. Dicing and marinating works well for stews, soups, and stir-fry dishes and recipes. Just like tofu, tempeh cakes will take on the flavor of the marinade. The trick is two pan fry or grill the prepared tempeh (tempeh should never be eaten raw) then wait until the last to add the tempeh to the entrée or recipe. If added too soon, the flavor of the marinade will become lost to the dish.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas for Tempeh
- For a twist on the traditional reuben sandwich, place broiled tempeh on a slice of whole grain bread, layer with sauerkraut, top with cheese or non-dairy “cheese” and then broil in oven for a few minutes until the sandwich is hot and toasty. Top with Russian dressing made by combining ketchup and mayonnaise, and enjoy.
- A vegetarian option to spaghetti and meat sauce is spaghetti and tempeh sauce. Just substitute tempeh for ground beef in your favorite recipe.
- Add extra flavor, texture and nutrition to chili by adding some tempeh
- Check out our site for some of the best recipes including…Tempeh Reuben sandwich w/ raw sauerkraut
Making Tempeh From Spores
Making tempeh is not a hard process for those with some cooking skills or background. The basics are boiling and de-hauling the soybeans, letting this cool down, and inoculate the cooked soybeans with the tempeh spores. The finished result is a firm white cake ready to slice and cook. The detailed instructions are at our main website http://www.organic-cultures.com/tempeh instructions
Tempeh soy cakes are a traditional Indonesian food made by fermenting soybeans with a starter culture. Traditional tempeh is a soybean cake that has a rich smoky flavor and aroma, with a firm nutty texture. Tempeh or TPS is one of Indonesian traditional foods full of protein made by fermenting soybeans with the rhizopus mold spores. It is high in nutritional value, providing nutrients such as Protein, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, and Manganese. It is also low in Cholesterol and Sodium. If you live in Indonesia, you can buy tempeh starter easily. In the USA, buying the starter spores can be a bit difficult; however, to make tempeh is not too hard. A meatless choice great for vegans or those looking for a healthy probiotic alternative for an animal based diet. Cooks up like ‘bacon or steak’ when sliced thin and fried. It is recommended not to eat tempeh products raw. Soy should only be consumed after fermentation and not raw. The ragi tempeh spores will break down the soy into an easy to consume product. Want to know more about tempeh – PTS? Checkout our main site.
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