It’s been over five years since I started growing my own tempeh. My first batch of home-grown tempeh was made for fun as a one time culinary experiment. But it  turned out to be something big.  I  fell in love with homemade tempeh from the first bite.  The fresh tempeh tasted amazing and it had so many uses in plant-based cooking. It’s also fascinating observing  beans get transformed into moldy mycelium. Since then growing tempeh have become my big passion and part of my weekly routine.

I have grown tempeh on different grains and beans, built  incubation systems and used tempeh in many dishes in my work as a chef. Now I am also happy to share my experiences by teaching workshops.  

If you are not familiar with tempeh, here are some basic facts.

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is a traditional fermented plant-based  product, high in  protein, originating from Indonesia

Traditionally  it`s made with soybeans or peanuts, but can be also made with other beans and grains.

Tempeh is made by fermenting beans or grains with the mold Rhizopus oligosporus. As a result of this fermentation, we get a compact cake, bound together by dense, fluffy mycelium.  

How to eat?

Fresh tempeh need to be cooked before eating. Never eat it raw!

  1. Steam boil it, or boil it for 10 – 15 minutes
  2. Marinate for 30 min to 24 h – this is not necessary, but will add much more flavor. Basic tempeh marinade: 0,5 dl soy sauce, 2 tablespoon date syrup or agave,2 cloves of garlic, mix in blender.
  3. Now tempeh is ready to be fried, grilled, baked or added into stir-fries, soups and stews.

How does it tastes?

Tempeh have a savory and nutty taste, many people describe it as having an earthy, mushroom taste.

Why to grow your own?

Making your own tempeh is fun, and not as complicated as it might seem.

The taste of fresh tempeh can’t be compared with store-bought with long expiration date. Also it is much cheaper to make it yourself.

Why tempeh is good for your health?

  • Tempeh is a great choice for people who have difficulty digesting plant-based high-protein foods like beans and legumes or soy foods such as tofu.
  • The process of fermentation makes the soybeans softer, since enzymes produced by the mold predigests a large part of the basic nutrients.
  • The fermentation process reduces the oligosaccharides that make beans hard to digest for some people. Studies have shown tempeh to be producing no more gas than non-legume food.
  • The mold produce an enzymes which support absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium.
  • Tempeh is also a source of provitamin D2. Low level of the vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, muscle and bone pain, depression and, some types of cancers.