Sunday, January 29, 2012


A couple weeks ago I decided to try to make some homemade tempeh. I was able to get a free sample of tempeh starter from here. The website also has instructions on how to make tempeh. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures until the very end so I don't have any of the process.
My plan was to make the tempeh when we were having a couple of hot days since it needs to incubate around 30C for 36-48 hours. I ended up doing it during the coldest couple days/nights of the week. First I soaked the beans for about 18 hours. Dehulling the beans was the most time consuming part since we don't have a grain mill so I did it by hand by rubbing the beans between my hands after they'd been soaking for a while and then removing the hulls when they floated to the top of the bowl.
After the soy beans had been mostly dehulled I cooked them in water with a bit of vinegar for 30 minutes, drained them and let them cool and dry for a bit before mixing in the tempeh starter. While the beans where cooling I took 3 zip lock sandwich size bags and poked lots and lots of little holes in the bag with a nail to allow the soy beans to breath while incubating. I filled each of the bags with about 1/3 of the soy beans and set up an incubator in our esky using a hot water bottle. I have no idea if it was at the right temperature and it definitely wasn't a constant temperature but it seemed to work. My best looking block of tempeh (the one pictured) looks a lot like the store bought ones because I had it sitting on a cooling rack over the hot water bottle (there wasn't enough room for all 3 on the bottom of the esky with the hot water bottle). I was a little concerned about the black bits but apparently that's normal (has to do with the air flow and heat levels). I fried a little bit up right after incubating it (I incubated mine 48 hours, I probably could have gone a couple hours or so more) and it tasted great. Zac made a stir fry with some of it the next night and it was sooooo good. What was left of it I sliced up and froze today (I sliced it so it would be easy to get just a bit of it if I want-- I hate trying to use just part of a frozen store bought tempeh block, it's so hard to cut). I'm impressed with my results in making tempeh but it was time consuming (mostly just trying to dehull the soy beans) and had to be well planned out so I was home when steps needed to be done.
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Veganator said...

Nice one. I can't wait to attempt my own batch. Eskys have so many uses :)

Cindy said...

Yay, that's so cool! I'm glad the flavour was so good after all that work. :-)