Tempeh Fermentation

Tempeh Fermentation

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a fermented food, originating from Indonesia, which came about as a by-product of tofu production. It has since arrived in Singapore and formed part of our local cuisine; along with other fermented soy products, such as soy sauce and bean paste.

Tempeh is formed when soy beans are packed and fermented by a filamentous mould, Rhizopus oligosporus, which forms a white, dense cake. The process confers a nutty, earthy, almost mushroom-like aroma to the product. As an ingredient, tempeh comprises almost 19% of protein, making it a suitable substitute in plant-based diets.

You will need:

  • 200 g soybeans
  • 2 g tempeh ragi (starter) or,
  • 30 g fresh market tempeh
  • Water
  • Punctured resealable bag

How to make Tempeh:

  1. Wash and rinse the soybeans. Leave the beans overnight, soaked in 1.2 L water (1:6 ratio).
  2. Dehull the beans and pour out the soaking liquid. Cover in fresh water and cook for about an hour. Drain the beans
    and allow to cool.
  3. Mix the tempeh starter with the cooled beans, distributing evenly.
  4. Pack the beans in a punctured resealable bag, which would allow the mould to breathe. Store the bag in a clean environment at room temperature. Monitor over 36 to 48 h.

Your tempeh is done when the mould fully covers the beans in a white mycelium. Tempeh fermentation also generates heat so yours may be warm to touch too!

You can replace the soybeans in tempeh with other legumes, such as black beans or chickpeas. If you also make your own soymilk or tofu, consider making tempeh out of okara!

We have made miso with tempeh, and even our version of stinky tofu using tempeh mould! The possibilities of food
fermentation are endless; the experiments are up to you!

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