How to make tempeh

Making tempeh is very easy. Here we explain how to make tempeh from 100% soy. This is the traditional tempeh as it is consumed in the country of origin: Indonesia. But soy tempeh is also the most popular tempeh in other countries. To make 1kg tempeh you need the following ingredients:

- 600 g whole dry soybeans
- 5 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (about 3 to 5 grams) tempeh starter

Step 1: Cracking the soybeans

grain millThe easiest way is to crack the soybeans with a loosely set grain mill. Ideally each soybean is cracked in half. On the left you can see a picture of a Family Grain Mill. This grain mill can be bought on the internet for less than $150. With the Family Grain Mill you can split the 600 g soybeans in a few minutes. Daniel informed us that the Porkert Universal Grain Mill can also split the soybeans. It is a Czech made grain mill that is all hot dipped steel, easy to take apart and lasts a long time. Another grain mill that seems to do the job is the Country Living Grain Mill.
When buying a grain mill consider that you can also use the dehulled soybeans to make soymilk. If you don't have a grain mill or dehulled soybeans continue with using whole soybeans, you will have to remove the hulls later by hand. If you are lucky, you can find a store that sells dehulled soybeans. Industrial tempeh producers normally buy dehulled soybeans. Maybe they will sell you some soybeans!

Step 2: Soaking and dehulling soybeans

Soak the soybeans in 2 liter water for 6 - 18 hours. If you use whole soybeans you should split them by squeezing them with a kneading motion. Stir gently causing the hulls to rise to the surface, then pour off water and hulls into a strainer. Add fresh water and repeat until most hulls are removed. Don't worry if a few hulls remain attached.

Step 3: Cooking the soybeans

Put the beans in a cooking pot and add enough water to cover them. Add the vinegar and cook for 30 min. Drain off the water and dry the soybeans by continue heating them in the pot on medium heat for a few minutes and until the beans are dry. Allow the soybeans to cool down to below 35°C.

Step 4: Inoculating the soybeans with tempeh starter

Sprinkle the soybeans with 1 teaspoon of tempeh starter. Mix with a clean spoon for about 1 minute to distribute the tempeh starter evenly. It's very important to mix the tempeh starter very well: it reduces the risk for spoilage and the fermentation will be faster. To promote the home production of tempeh we will send you a sample of tempeh starter.

Step 5: Incubating the beans

Take 2 plastic bags 18 x 28 cm and perforate them with holes at a distance of about 1 cm by a thick but sharp needle. A normal needle is too thin, you need a fat needle or small nail (about 0.6 mm in diameter). This will allow the mould to breathe. Divide the soybeans in the two bags and seal them. Press them flat, making sure that the total thickness of the beans is max 3 cm. Place the packed beans in an incubator at 30°C or at a warm place for about 36- 48 hours during which the tempeh fermentation takes place. Then the container should be filled completely with white mycelium and the entire contents can be lifted out as a whole piece.

Making other types of tempeh

The most popular tempeh is soybean tempeh. But you can also make tempeh with other substrates: Now you know how to make tempeh. We hope that you will enjoy the home making of tempeh and ... the eating of it! If you have questions about how to make tempeh, please Email us! If you like to make tempeh at home, maybe you should consider to also make your own natto with this excellent natto starter. Natto is fermented by a Bacillus subtilus, which is a powerful probiotic.