Tag Archives: tempeh

Tempeh Gyro w/ Tzatziki

Tempeh Gyro
Tempeh Gyros are a great healthy sandwich that everyone will love.  Simple to make if you already have the bread and have the tempeh marinated.

Fermented – Cultured

Ingredients Needed…

4 ounces of homemade tempeh – cut into strips for marinating
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon rice vinegar or 1 teaspoon other vinegar

Tzatziki…

1/2 cup peeled grated cucumber
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 chopped garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 cup homemade plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup homemade sour cream
1 tablespoon parsley
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar or 1 teaspoon other vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano

Other Ingredients…

4 -6 Greek pita breads
olive oil (for cooking)
lettuce and tomato
Tempeh gyroDirections…
1. To make gyro “meat” cut tempeh into thin strips 1/2 – 1.5 cm in thickness works well.
2. Next make tempeh marinade with all ingredients listed under “Gyro Tempeh”.

Marinated Tempeh
Marinating Homemade Tempeh

3. Pour the marinade over the tempeh, make sure all surfaces are covered and place in fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Next, make Tzatziki- combine all ingredients listed under Tzatziki. Stir well and also place in fridge to sit for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
5. When you are ready to eat, set the Tzatziki out to warm slightly while you cook the tempeh.
6. Heat a large skillet with 3-4 tbsp olive oil and heat over medium, once heated place tempeh strips in and let them cook until each side is golden brown.
7. Remove tempeh from pan, and one at a time heat the pitas over medium heat until warmed on each side.
8. Then layer your gyro (pita, tzatziki and tempeh) then top with lettuce and tomato.

Enjoy and Happy Culturing!

Benefits of Tempeh and a Simple Recipes

Tempeh is a staple food of Indonesia, which is gaining popularity all around the world, for its distinct nutty taste and nougat-like texture. Tempeh starts by cooking soybeans, followed by inoculation using a culturing agent like Rhizopus oligosporus spores.

Tempeh in BBQ Sauce
~ Tempeh in BBQ Sauce ~

To finish the culturing process, incubation occurs overnight turning the soybeans into a solid white cake. Use the fermented tempeh cakes in a number of dishes, as a healthy meat alternative! Tempeh works great marinated in your favorite
herbs and condiments.

Tempeh is a highly nutritious food rich in protein, which has been the traditional cuisine of Indonesia for more than 2000 years. Today, tempeh is a popular meat alternative for vegetarian and vegan cuisines. Because it is a low-fat and high-protein food, many vegetarians choose to include tempeh in their diet on a regular basis.

  Tempeh is extremely rich in protein, low fat, and contains fiber and vitamins. Now a common site in Co-ops and health food stores, it is easy to enjoy tempeh at anytime! Store bought tempeh is ready to cook and eat or one can make it much cheaper at home with prepackaged spore starter and some basic equipment. Below are some health benefits of Tempeh.

Health Benefits of Eating Tempeh

  • Tempeh is a rich source of proteins. The proteins in tempeh have the additional benefit of lowering cholesterol level, unlike the protein from animal sources, which raise the cholesterol level of a person. Thus, tempeh is an excellent alternative to meat.
  • Tempeh contains magnesium, which plays a vital role in cardiovascular system and in more than 300 enzymatic reactions. Magnesium is also necessary for the reactions like the control of protein synthesis and energy production.
  • Tempeh may help in preventing heart diseases. It reduces the cholesterol level and hence, lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  • Tempeh also raises the HDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol passes through the body and collects the cholesterols in the arteries to be disposed off by the liver. Tempeh can even lower LDL cholesterol levels, apart from raising HDL.
  • Tempeh, like other soy foods, is rich in dietary fiber, which binds fats and cholesterol and prevents their rapid absorption. In addition, the dietary fiber binds the bile salts and helps throw them out of the body. As it disposes the bile, liver is stimulated to convert more cholesterol into bile salts, thereby lowering the cholesterol level in the body considerably.
  • The fiber present in tempeh may assist in lowering the risk of colon cancer, by being able to bind to the cancer-causing toxins. It is also preventative against some other cancers, like breast cancer.
  • Tempeh is also helpful in treating menopausal symptoms. The isoflavones present in tempeh bind to the estrogen receptors and provide relief from the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the decline of natural estrogen. In addition, it may aid in reducing the bone loss that generally follows menopause.
  • Tempeh contains a good amount of the trace minerals, like manganese and copper. These minerals play an important role in numerous physiological functions.
  • Tempeh is an extremely healthy food for people suffering from diabetes.       Its natural properties that assist in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels prove helpful for diabetic patients. Also, tempeh aids in lowering the triglyceride levels in diabetic patients.

Cooking Tips

  • Always cook the tempeh cakes to kill the active mold and/or spores.       Do not eat tempeh RAW.
  • Tempeh will take on the flavors of the marinade or recipe ingredients.       By itself, tempeh has a mild taste.
  • To make tempeh, you will need soy (soya) beans, few tablespoons of vinegar and tempeh spore starters like Rhizopus oryzae or Rhizopus oligosporus.
  • Soak the beans for 8-14 hours in water. De-hull the beans by hand and split the beans into two. Skim off the hulls and discard.
  • Make sure the beans are very dry; otherwise, undesirable bacteria may take hold and produce bad or off flavors.
  • Keep the beans in an incubator, while wrapped in the plastic, at a temperature of 30°C/85°F. You can also keep them at any warm place for a day or two or until you see, the plastic completely filled with white mycelium.
  • The tempeh is ready when the soybeans become one complete solid mass.
  • The fresh tempeh will be warm and has a pleasant mushroom flavor.
  • You can store tempeh in the refrigerator, for around ten days. However, if you keep it in the freezer, it can stay for a few months.

Recipe For the Week

Tempeh Super BBQ Burger

tempeh burger
An Easy Way to Use Tempeh Cakes

Ingredients Needed

  • 1  tempeh cake (about 4 to 5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 broccoli stock, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown rice or spelt flour
  • 2 Tbs arrowroot starch
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • 1 Tbs dried oregano
  • 2 Tbs dried parsley
  •  sea salt, to taste
  • 1 egg or egg substitute (1 Tbs ground chia + 1/4 cup warm water)
  • Add other spices, if desired, like chilli, herbs, or spice mix.

Instructions

  1. Cut tempeh up into cubes and toss into a food processor and process until into small pieces, or finely chop.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together ground tempeh, onion, zucchini, broccoli stock, brown rice, arrowroot starch, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, oregano, parsley, baking powder, sea salt and egg or egg substitute.
  3. Mix with a fork until it starts to come together, and is evenly mixed.
  4. Take about 1/3 cup mixture, roll into a ball and then flatten into a patty shape.
  5. Either cook on a 350-400 BBQ or in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Remove once lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Do not over cook the patty.
  6. Serve on a bun with topping of your choice or wrapped in lettuce.

We hope this Blog page has assisted you in making great tempeh at home. We have tempeh or PTS spore starter in small amounts and now in 500gr commercial size packaging. See more details at our web store – Organic-Cultures.com

What is Tempeh and Tempeh Starter?

What is Tempeh?

tempeh spore cakeTempeh 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.

Description

Making tempeh  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

tempeh in banana leafMaking 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.
Need tempeh starter spores – Visit our store

Happy Culturing!  Live, Grow, Share Cultured Foods

Traditional Tempeh? Don’t Have no Banana Trees in My Backyard…


 

tempeh banana
Inoculated Tempeh in Banana Leaf

New July, 2014 Follow Up…

This has been a great method, developed by Organic Cultures, for wrapping soy beans inoculated with tempeh spores. The culturing/fermentation times are shorter, which could be in part from the wild yeast spores on the burdock leaf. Burdock wrapping of the tempeh cakes makes it easier and faster to produce vs. filling plastic bags.

The burdock leaf is prefect this time of year for trying this tempeh production method yourself. Hurry though as the burdock will start the flowering and seed production cycles soon, which is still OK for wrapping the soy beans. This method is more like the traditional recipe and replaces plastic bags and the mess of poking all the holes.

Once the cakes are inoculated and growing tempeh spores medium, simply place cakes into a freezer bag and freeze. We find it best to take the finished cakes out right before you plan to use them and allow thawing about half way through. Letting the cake thaw completely seems to make a softer lower grade product.

Let us know in the comments how this method goes for you. Remember to identify correctly the plant used or have someone knowledgeable in herbal medicine assist you.

_END

As with most of North America, we cannot produce tempeh in the traditional manor.  Traditional tempeh is a mix of cooked soybeans inoculated with the proper spore starter.  The inoculated tempe mixture is wrapped in fresh banana leaves to ferment outside for a day or two.

Here in the USA, it is common use plastic bags with perforated with holes for fermenting the soy cakes; however, this is not following traditional ways or sustainable methods.  The following experiment, brought about by looking for an alternative, is as follows: …

Experiment #:  Tempe1012AB274 –
Alternative Sources for Tempeh Fermentation

Equipment Used: Dehulled split soybeans, tempeh spores, burdock leaves, common kitchen and lab utensils and glassware.

– Experiment started via the standard tempeh recipe found on our organic-cultures.com website.  Once soy beans are cooked and processed, the steps changed from placing tempeh mixture in perforated plastic bags to encasing the spore inoculated soy beans in a sustainable and eco-friendly wrapping.

burdock leaf  –  Cakes then wrapped in fresh burdock leaf.  Found single layer of leaf material breaks and needs more holding strength.  Some blanch the burdock leaves; in this case, we did not.  Used two to three leaves placed opposed to each other.  Proper amount of tempe spore soybean mixture placed within leaf ‘basket’.  Secure with toothpicks or bamboo.  Amount of mixture can very due to size of leaves, however, for better fermentation times use around
a 1/3 cup or 4 oz/ 113gr per leaf.

– Fermented cakes for 29 hours at 75 degrees F on breathable rack lightly covered with layer of plastic film to keep moisture in.  Cakes need air circulation but not enough to dry out.  Cover with additional layers of burdock leaves for future testing.

– Extra mixture placed in glass baking tray vs. plastic bags, mixture pressed down to better inoculate soybeans and covered lightly with plastic wrap.  Within same time frame as above, soybeans showed complete growth with pure white ‘fuzzy’ growth on top of the soy beans.  This method seemed faster for quick use or where a sliced ‘cake’ packaged in plastic bags, is not desired.  Allows easier mixing of a sauce or marinade with the fermented tempeh.  In our test, we mixed the tempeh with BBQ sauce, pressed into cakes, battered and deep fried.  Not the healthiest tempeh recipe it is a great vegan substitution for meat!
With a cultured dipping sauce, it makes a very nice appetizer or snack.

tempeh spore cake
Buy Tempeh Spore StarterRagi Tempe Spore Starter