Using tempeh in your recipes

Fresh tempeh has a nice mushroom and nutty flavour, but in recipes it will readily absorbs flavours of other ingredients. Often, tempeh is marinated before cooking to give it a stronger and savoury taste. Tempeh can be used in typical Indonesian recipes, but just as well in Western style cooking. For example, you can substitute all or part of meat in your favourite recipe with tempeh.

Cooking methods

In Indonesian tempeh is deep-fried in vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy. But you can use in other ways: boiling, steaming, baking, microwaving, stir-frying or grilling.

Cutting tempeh

Tempeh is very practical in that you can cut it different ways: slices, cubes or crumbles. You can cut tempeh in thick or very thin slices. The thinner the slices, the easier they can be deep-fried into crispy tempeh, but the more oil they will absorb. Tempeh can be cut in cubes of any size you like and then be deep-fried, stir-fried or boiled. Because of its firm texture it is very easy to grate tempeh in a food processor or a cheese grater. When you use a food processor the texture of the tempeh will resemble that of ground meat. Grated tempeh is easy way to introduce soy nutrients to people who enjoy meat. When you use half tempeh and half ground meat for burgers and sauces you will keep the meaty flavour but gain the health benefits of soy.

Marinating tempeh

A simple marinade is water mixed with soy sauce, lemon juice, ground pepper, coriander and crushed garlic. You can add other ingredients such as vinegar, rice wine, pineapple juice, barbecue sauce, mustard, tamarind, lemongrass, ginger and lemon leave. Cut the tempeh into cubes or slices and marinate for 1 to 4 hours for absorption of flavours.