Tempeh, like tofu, is made from soybeans. However, it contains nearly double the protein! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this vegan meat alternative and how to make homemade tempeh yourself.
Tempeh: An Indonesian Meat Substitute
Although tempeh is traditionally made from soybeans, the way it’s made is completely different from tofu. You can still make your own tempeh at home though.
This traditional Indonesian dish is made by fermenting cooked soybeans, which are then pressed into a firm, dense cake. During this process, the fungal cells surround the beans and cause the mass to solidify. Tempeh is therefore much more crunchy and firm than tofu. After fermentation, it can be smoked or seasoned.
Homemade Tempeh Recipe
Wondering how to make tempeh yourself? It’s not nearly as complicated as it may sound.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 8.5 oz. dried soybeans
- 2 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp. mushroom cultures (tempeh starter)
How to make tempeh:
- Soak the soybeans overnight.
- Rinse the beans and put them in a pot. Fill with twice the amount of water.
- Let the beans boil for about an hour and then drain them.
- Wait until the soybeans have cooled down to about 86˚F and then add the apple cider vinegar and mushroom cultures. Stir the mixture well.
- Divide the bean mixture into two freezer bags and seal them. Poke some holes in the bags so that the bacteria have an air supply.
- Store the loaves in a warm place, and leave them to rest for a day and a half. After that, you can take the tempeh out of the bag and use it for cooking.
Cooking Tips and Suggestions
While tempeh is often associated with Asian cuisine, feel free to get creative! This meat alternative can be used in a variety of ways and is quick to prepare. Bake it in the oven, sauté it in a pan, or throw it on the barbecue in the summer. Try using your homemade tempeh as:
- Burger patties
- Vegan schnitzel
- In soups or stews
- As protein on salads
Since natural tempeh has a very mild taste, season or marinate it well before preparing.
Tempeh Health Benefits
Tempeh contains a bunch of healthy ingredients that make it a good meat alternative:
- Vegetarian protein bomb: 85 grams of tempeh contain 16 grams of protein – compared to only 8 grams with tofu. The fermentation process allows our bodies to better absorb the protein.
- No cholesterol, unlike meat.
- Rich in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It also contains a lot of healthy dietary fiber.
- High amount of isoflavones, which have an antioxidant effect – they protect you from diseases and strengthen your immune system.
- Low in fat and calories, and it’s gluten free!
Tip: Remember to look for locally produced products when shopping. Whether you want to make your own, or purchase pre-made, always check the ingredients list!
This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Tempeh selber machen: Wie gesund und nachhaltig ist der vegane Fleischersatz?affiliate links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org because we get a small portion of the proceeds.
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