Tempeh from Scratch

Tempeh is an incredible fermented food high in protein, calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B2, and magnesium. Here’s how to make it yourself.

  1. Soak 5 cups dry beans overnight. We prefer chickpeas but most beans will work.
  2. Pulse the soaked beans in small batches in a food processor to split in half.
  3. Boil split beans for 10 minutes. They will still be firm. Skim off the hulls.
  4. Dry the beans on a towel and pick out the remaining hulls. This does not need to be perfect.
  5. Measure out 16 cups of the hulled beans into a large stainless steel bowl.
  6. Add 8 tablespoons vinegar to beans and mix well. This established the correct pH for the fungus.
  7. Add 4 teaspoons tempeh starter to the beans and mix well. (We get tempeh starter from IndoPalĀ http://tempehstarter.com/catalog/)
  8. Poke lots of holes into 2, 1-gallon ziploc bags using a fork.
  9. Pack the beans into the bags, 1/2 in each. Flatten out evenly and lay on cookie racks or trays.
  10. Incubate at 85-95 degrees F for 24 hours. The top of water heater, masonry stove or fridge may work. If using a solid surface, flip over after 12 hours.
  11. Finished tempeh has warm, bready smell and soft, white/gray appearance. It should not be slimy or foul.
  12. Store in single layer in fridge.

Now, to make the tempeh amazing we need Jonah’s marinade.

  • Cur tempeh into 2 x 1/4 inch strips. Put the tempeh in the pan and coat it with safflower oil. Add balsamic vinegar until it just coats pan. Sprinkle some curry powder. Drizzle agave or other sweetener. Add salt and pepper. “Slosh it around and mix it up. Make sure its wet enough that it can steam for at least 10 minutes.” Cover the pan and cook on low so that tempeh is thoroughly cooked. (Uncooked tempeh is not good for you.) 1/2 way through flip the tempeh. Cook until balsamic vinegar is reduced.