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How to make tempeh?

Step 1: Ingredients

You need about 500g whole soya beans, a few tablespoons of vinegar and a bit of tempeh starter to make 1 kg of tempeh. Tempeh starter contains either spores of Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhyzopus oryzae, or a mixture of both. You can buy tempeh starter from TopCultures, they ship worldwide.

Step 2: Soaking and dehulling soya beans

Whole soybeans can be dehulled by soaking the beans for 8 - 14 hours in water and then removing the hulls by hand. In doing so, the beans are split into two halves and the seed coats can be discarded.

Step 3: Cooking the dehulled beans

Place the soybeans in a cooking pot and add just enough to water to cover the beans. Add the of vinegar, bring to boiling point and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and remove the cooked beans onto towels to drain off the excess water and to cool the beans, which are now swollen and soft. It's important that the beans become very dry, otherwise undesirabl bacteria can grow and create off-flavours.

Step 4: Inoculating the dehulled beans

Put the cool and dry beans in a clean container and sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon of tempeh starter (can be ordered at tempeh.com) and mix thoroughly. The exact amount of tempeh starter required is given on the package of tempeh starter.

Step 5: Incubating the beans

Take 2 plastic bags about 18x28 cm and perforate them with holes at a distance of about 1 cm by a thick but sharp needle.
Divide the soya beans in the two bags and seal them. Press them flat, making sure that the total thickness of the beans is not more than 3 cm.
Place the packed beans in an incubator at 30°C or at a warm place for about 24-48 hours or until the container is filled completely with white mycelium and the entire contents can be lifted out as a whole piece. A simple incubator can be made with putting a light bulb in an old fridge. Depending on the room temperature bulbs with different wattage (15W, 25W, ..) can be used, but remember that the tempeh will also produce some heat on its own.
tempehtempeh
Before incubation
After incubation

The fresh tempeh will feel warm and will have a pleasant mushroom flavour. The finished tempeh can be store in refrigerator for 7 days or a few months in the freezer.

Comments (11)

Making tempeh from spouted soy beans
I have access through my local farmers market for fresh sprouted soy beans. Will these work the same as the dry for the method on your website. My customers would freak out about house made tempeh.
#1 - Justin - 10/24/2013
Peanut tempeh
How to make peanut tempeh?
#2 - Guest - 10/25/2013
This is from the Book of Tempeh: "Although peanuts are hard to dehull, the delicious tempeh is worth the work. Prepare as for soy tempeh but soak the raw peanuts for 12 to 16 hours after first boil. Split peanuts in halves (or chop) after dehulling, steamin a cloth on a rack over 1 to 2 cups water at 15 pounds in pressure cooker for 10 minutes, then allow pressure to come down naturally. Mix steamed peanuts with steaming water (1 to 2 cups) and vinegar, drain well, and proceed to inoculate and incubate as for soy tempeh."
#3 - Wim - 10/25/2013
dehulled soybeans for making tempeh
Do you know where i can buy dehulled soybeans in europe?
#4 - Sari - 11/01/2013
dehulled soybeans for making tempeh
Dehulled soybeans are very difficult to find.
Celnat in France sells them. Most tempeh and tofu factories dehull their soybeans themselves or buy containers loads of dehulled soybeans from Canada.
#5 - Rob - 11/01/2013
Soya seed hulls
I wonder what are the properties of Soya seed hulls? All I could find is that they are used in animal feed and have a lot of fibre. Is it better to remove them. When making tempeh they are removed before cooking-why is that & why before?
#6 - DadaVi - 11/15/2013
Soya seed hulls
These hulls are indeed fibre and are indigestible for humans. But they are also not digestible for the Rhizopus molds used in tempeh fermentation. Although soybeans without hulls make the best tempeh, it is possible to make tempeh without removing them. When making tempeh the hulls are removed before the final cooking process, because removing them afterwards will increase the risk of infection.
#7 - Rob - 11/15/2013
Can one make tempeh with mungo asian beans?
do you know if one can make tempeh with the mungo asian beans? i believe they are green soy beans. so far, i've been using yellow soy beans, and it was working really well!
#8 - Kim - 11/21/2013
Can one make tempeh with mungo asian beans?
Mung beans are not soybeans, although they are sometimes called green soy beans. It should be possible to make tempeh from mung beans. I have never tried it and believe that quality will be inferior, because mung beans rather starchy and contain less protein than soybeans.

Also, you must first remove the skins of the beans, or maybe you can buy split mung beans.
#9 - Rob - 11/22/2013
Can one make tempeh with mungo asian beans?
You are 100% correct Rob, in everything you say :-)
You have to find a tempeh starter that groes well on starchy substrates. Also bear in mind not to overcook the mung beans and make them quite dry. Starchy beans tend to retain a lot more moisture than soya beans. Try steaming them rather than simmering in boiling water.

Otherwise yeah it's definetly possible. You can also find split mung beans, in indian stores. That would spare you a lot of time.
#10 - jimmy - 11/22/2013
any other equally nutritive pulse as soya bean that is worth trying?
I'm studying food processing technology
I'm given a project to work upon a food to increase its self life
I'm interest to try this
I also want to know whether there are any other uses of tempeh
Plzz reply as soon as possible
Please
#11 - shivani - 01/18/2014
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