Does tempeh sound familiar to you? If it doesn’t, then you’re not alone! Today is your lucky day because we are going to learn something new. I’m sure you have heard about tofu, soy sauce, and soy milk, which all come from soybeans. Well, tempeh is also part of the same family!
It is an Indonesian soy food with a hearty, earthy, meaty taste and a tender texture similar to mushrooms. Like tofu, it can also be used in many dishes. Since I love tofu, I am excited to find out what tempeh tastes like and where I can buy it. Do you know where?
Some Facts About Tempeh
Would You Like To Know About Its Origin?
Tempeh originally came from the island of Java, Indonesia. It is a local delicacy that has been enjoyed by Indonesians for hundreds of years, and it still is today.
It’s a good substitute for meat and source of protein that has become part of their culture.
How Is It Made?
Tempeh is made from fermented soy beans. The fermenting helps to break down the beans and makes them easier to digest. First of all, the beans are cracked, cooked and left to ferment for an average of 18 hours at room temperature.
Fermentation makes the beans bind together into a cake-like form. This process makes the soybeans, which are packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, easy to digest.
The robust savor of this flexible plant protein makes tempeh a perfect vegetarian ingredient and an ideal alternative for meat in many dishes.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Tempeh?
Let’s explore the goodness that it gives to our bodies. Tempeh benefits us by:
- Containing probiotics that create a self-protective lining in our intestines and shields us from pathogenic factors.
- Increasing our antibodies for a stronger immune system.
- Decreasing cholesterol and increasing bone density.
- Lessening menopausal symptoms and controling appetite.
- Delivering muscle building protein and diabetes-fighting manganese.
- Treating cancer and inflammatory diseases.
I bet you want to have some now!
Where Can You Buy Tempeh?
After discovering how healthy tempeh is, you’re probably speculating where to buy it, aren’t you?
You can see it rolled into banana leaves in the local market, but you’ll be lucky to buy it that way nowadays. I like the traditional way, but it’s now more commonly shrink-wrapped into plastic packages inside the fridge section of the supermarket.
Health food stores are more likely to sell tempeh. You’ll be amazed that you can buy it online. Of course, even when it’s frozen, tempeh is highly perishable, so it can only be shipped or delivered to certain selected areas.
As you open the package, it looks beige in color with dark area or spots, as a result of the fermentation method. It’s not hard to find tempeh of every variety. You’ll be surprised to know that you can buy it either natural, flavored, grilled or even barbecued.
- Remember: When buying, you need to know that this beige color is an indication of its freshness. A few dark spots are mold, which is fine, as you can easily take them out before you start cooking. Fresh tempeh smells light and sweet like soy milk.
- Return it to the supermarket or throw it out if it doesn’t look fresh. For example, if you see too much mold or dark spots on it, it smells sour or feels sticky and slimy.
How To Make Homemade Tempeh?
Here is something awesome. If tempeh is not available in the supermarkets near you, you can learn how to make it. Do you think it would be best if we could make it ourselves?
Here’s a short video showing you how to make tempeh. Let’s take a look and learn.
Tempeh is best when it’s used in sandwiches and salads, or cubed, sautéed, stir-fried, or used for tempeh bacon (as a meat substitute) and in spicy dishes like curry. It is best to decide what you’re going to make first of all.
Don’t forget that tempeh’s tastes a little different, so you’ll have to get used to it before you can say it’s really delicious. But of course, we all have different tastes. It took me a long while to enjoy tofu with its strong smell. Now I’m going to find out if it’s the same with tempeh.
Did you learn enough about this short adventure with tempeh? Have you chosen a recipe that you can cook tonight? Now you know where to buy tempeh, you can cook it anytime you like.
Care to share some of your experiences with us?