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make your own tempeh


➤ What is Tempeh? ➤ How to make Tempeh at home: A Guide. ➤ FAQs: Tips & Tricks. ➤ Learning about Tempeh: Workshops & Courses. ➤ How to build an incubator. ➤ Accessories for DIY (Do It Yourself).
enoki mushrooms
Was ist Tempeh?

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is the product of a process called mold fermentation. Legumes are fermented with the help of a mold culture, the Bacillus Rhizopus oryzae var. oligosporus. The culture breaks down the legumes and forms a white mycelium that envelops the beans. It looks like Turkish delight but is actually Tempeh!

Tempeh is an easily digestible way to enjoy legumes that are typically harder to digest. While Tempeh is mostly made from soybeans, other legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and various types of beans can also be used.

What sets it apart from other mold ferments?

The use of the specific bacterium. Rhizopus Oligosporus imparts Tempeh with its unique flavor, somewhere between nutty and cheesy.

While we like to refer to Koji as cream cheese and Natto as blue cheese, Oligosporus represents the Camembert category for us.

Preparing Tempeh!

Tempeh is usually fried. Although you could eat it raw, frying enhances its flavor significantly. Simply sauté it in a pan with some oil or deep-fry it like fries in ample oil. Don't forget to add salt. We prefer using soy sauce.

What is the difference between Tempeh and Tofu?

Tofu is not fermented. If we were to draw a dairy comparison, tofu is like cottage cheese, while tempeh is more akin to Camembert. Through the fermentation process, bacteria break down the soy, making it easily digestible.







Step-by-Step Guide

Mold needs air, warmth, and moisture. These conditions should be created at home before starting. Creating a kind of incubator for the home setup is possible with minimal investment. For a one-time trial, an oven can also suffice. Here's the DIY guide for those who want to stick around.

Step 1: Soaking

Soak legumes (soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.). The soaking time depends on the size of each legume. While soybeans, chickpeas, and beans are soaked overnight, millet, amaranth, and quinoa require very short soaking - maximum 1 hour.

Step 2: Cooking

Now cook the legumes al dente. Dispose of the soaking water and cook the legumes until they are chewy in fresh water. You can add a little vinegar to the cooking water. This creates a more pleasant taste for Tempeh.

Do not overcook the beans; Tempeh needs some chewiness.

Step 3: Inoculation

Don't worry; we're not sure why sprinkling with spores is called inoculation. But for this step, you only need spores and a spoon.

It is important that the legumes are cooled down (below 35 degrees) before this step and are dry on the surface. Therefore, it's best to spread them on a dish towel and pat them dry after cooking.

Then place the beans in a dry container; do not inoculate on the damp cloth, or the spores will stick to it. Then evenly distribute the spores on the beans with a spoon or a small sieve. Stir, stir, and stir again. Each bean should come into contact with the spores.

Step 4: Packaging

Mold needs air. Therefore, we have to supply it during fermentation. There are different ways to do this. You can perforate a food-safe plastic bag with toothpicks - simply poke a hole in the bag at one-centimeter intervals. If you make a lot, you might prefer pre-perforated bags.

It is also possible to ferment in glass or stainless steel containers. It's important not to fill them higher than 5 centimeters and ensure air circulation, i.e., do not seal tightly.

Step 5: Fermentation

The Tempeh goes into an incubator for the next 44 hours. Temperature: 30 degrees, Humidity: 85%.

After 24 hours, a white film should already be visible. Depending on temperature and humidity, the process can go faster or slower. Tempeh is ready when the white mycelium evenly covers the legumes. This often results in a solid Tempeh cake, meaning the beans grow together. Depending on the size of the beans, this works better. It is certainly not necessary for all beans to have grown together.

Step 6: Harvest

Take the Tempeh out of the incubator and quickly cool it in the refrigerator. It's best to eat it soon... the fresher, the better.


Which legumes are suitable for Tempeh?

Basically, all of them.

It is essential that the spores have access to the starch in the beans. Therefore, it is essential that the beans are either peeled or crushed.

Can I use other spores?

No, because then it becomes something else.

Help, white mold!

Great... that's what we wanted. Gray and black spots on Tempeh are okay. These usually occur due to condensation at the air holes.

Help... my Tempeh is black/has black spots?!

Black mold is the epitome of poison for us. With Tempeh, it's a bit different. When Tempeh gets too hot or ferments for too long, it begins to spore. That is, it begins to reproduce. These spores are black in Tempeh. This is not toxic. It's not black mold; it's sporulation.

Black dots are therefore entirely okay. These often arise due to condensation at the air holes. If the entire Tempeh is black, this is an indication that it has fermented for too long. One must consider that the spores also generate heat themselves. If the entire Tempeh is black, it is simply overripe. Not poisonous, but also not really good anymore. Get rid of it.

If the Tempeh is reddish-moldy. Get rid of it!

No mold on my Tempeh?

The following reasons could be responsible:

  • The legumes were too hot.

  • The legumes had too little water (soaked too briefly, boiled too little).

  • The spores are ineffective.

  • The incubator was too cold/too hot.

  • The Tempeh had no air during fermentation.

Shelf life? How long does my Tempeh last?

Tempeh lasts about 10-14 days. However, it tastes best when very fresh. Tempeh is stored in the refrigerator to stop fermentation. Tempeh can be frozen.

Is Tempeh healthy?

Yes, Tempeh is generally considered a healthy food. It has a range of nutritional benefits:

Protein Content: Tempeh is a good source of protein, containing all essential amino acids. It can be a nutritious option for vegetarians and vegans to meet their protein needs.

Fiber: Tempeh contains fiber, which supports digestion and contributes to maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

Probiotic Effect: Since Tempeh is a fermented product, it contains probiotic bacteria that can promote gut health.

Nutrients: Tempeh is rich in various vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, vitamin B12, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Low Fat Content: Compared to some other protein-rich foods, Tempeh has a relatively low fat content, especially saturated fats.

How do you prepare Tempeh?

We love the following preparation:

Cut the Tempeh into the desired shape: slices, cubes, or strips.

Heat some oil in a pan or skillet over medium heat.

Place the Tempeh in the pan and fry it for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

Deglaze the Tempeh with some soy sauce and quickly pour in some water. Soy sauce easily burns, and this creates a bit of soy that then draws through the warm Tempeh in the pan.

Tempeh pairs wonderfully with Kimchi or other fermented vegetables. Salad also works wonderfully as a side dish.

Alternatively, Tempeh can be fried, grilled or baked in the ofen.

Anleitung Tempeh selber machen
tempeh black beans
tempeh pumpkin seeds
preparing tempeh



Worshops & Kurs

How to make a home incubator?

Cheap & Easy: In the Oven

Take out the roast - insert Tempeh. Just turn on the light, don't heat it. The light usually generates a temperature around 30 degrees. If the oven already has modern LED lighting, unfortunately, this method won't work.

For some ovens, you can also set the temperature to 30 degrees. Please do not use this option; it is unfortunately too inaccurate, and the Tempeh is likely to overheat.

Semi-Pro Setup: In the Styrofoam Box

Get a Styrofoam box (pharmacy, Metro), a reptile heating mat from a pet store, and a temperature controller from the gardening department.

Plug the heating mat into the temperature controller. This ensures a constant temperature. Of course, it's essential to insert the temperature sensor into the beans.

For moisture regulation, it's usually enough not to let the moisture in the beans escape. That means not fermenting openly but, as described above, in perforated bags or in containers that allow air circulation but prevent drying out.

Building an incubator for fermentation requires some technical knowledge and materials. Here is a simplified guide to building a straightforward incubator:

Materials needed:

A Styrofoam box or an insulated container with a lid (pharmacy, Metro)

A thermostat or temperature controller from the gardening department

A heating mat (preferably for a terrarium) or a light bulb with a socket

A thermometer - often integrated with the temperature controller

A power supply or power source

Cables, plugs, and switches (as needed)

Adhesive tape or glue

Step-by-step guide:

Choose a suitable Styrofoam box or insulated container large enough to accommodate your fermentation vessels or jars. The container should have a removable lid.

Place the thermostat or temperature controller in a suitable location on the outside of the box. Ensure that you have access to the settings and that the thermostat's cable leads into the box.

Attach the heating mat or the light bulb with a socket to the inside of the box's lid. Make sure it is securely attached and that the light bulb does not come into direct contact with the Styrofoam or other flammable materials.

Connect the heating mat or the light bulb to the thermostat or temperature controller. Ensure that all electrical connections are secure and insulated. If necessary, use cables, plugs, and switches to make the connections.

Place the thermometer near your fermentation vessels or jars so you can monitor the temperature in the incubator.

Connect the power supply or power source to the thermostat or temperature controller.

Test the incubator by setting the thermostat or temperature controller to the desired temperature and turning on the heating mat or the light bulb. Check if the temperature in the incubator remains stable and changes according to your settings.

Securely fasten the lid on the box to ensure good insulation. You can use adhesive tape or glue to improve the seal.

Place your fermentation vessels or jars in the incubator and close the lid.

Regularly monitor the temperature in the incubator and adjust the settings as needed.

Please note that building an incubator for fermentation requires a certain level of responsibility and caution, especially when dealing with electrical components. Ensure that you take the necessary safety precautions and, if necessary, seek professional assistance or advice to create a safe and functional device.

Wie baue ich einen Inkubator



Zubehör zum Selber Machen
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