Tempeh. wow. TEMPEH. WOOOOOOW.
What the f*ck? u can ask me easily… is my new passion. Love. Beauty.
Since i stopped eating meat…. wait. Really? When did it happen? At this christmas i celebrated one year anniversary of not eating meat officially*.
*i am still working as a chef. I do try things make sure that we serve the best we can. But i stopped paying for this bloody pleasure. Thats all.
So since i dont eat meat i increased my egg and dairy intake a bit – yesss cheeeeese. And yoghurt. Pretty much. And of course i started to focus on other healthy protein sources (Seitan blogpost). When i found tempeh… which seems to be the healthiest stuff so far, not bad for the environment and easy for my belly to digest. Heaven.
So Tempeh. Is basically soy bean what made out to a ‘cake’ by a good bacteria. Well its soy bean originally, but now u can find different types made out of beans or other seeds and or legumes. I dont want to dig very deeply to the origin and history – go and read some wikipedia for this here. I just want to show u how ‘easy is’ to make your own tempeh. And I AM LYING RIGHT NOW. I mean its not difficult but time consuming. Obviously your homemade tempeh is much more tastier than any shop bought one – not even mention that u can make your special mix, not just soybeans but lets say ‘chickpeas with sesame seed’ tempeh or ‘blackbean with sunflower seed’ tempeh. Very great stuff and seriously amazing protein source. But I AM GOING TO BE VERY HONEST – I was making tempeh a couple of times just to see what the whole process is about and to understand this good bacteria. Worth it, no regrets, but if u are not a ‘planning ahead your meal’ type of dude – lets forget about this. Cause it takes 3-4 days. Ups.
- soaking and dehulling your soy beans
Important!; to measure your soy beans while its dry – before soaking. One recipe works usually 500-600g of dry beans. Soak them min overnight – next they it will be ‘kindof easy’ to dehull and get rid of the little shells. I think this has got the biggest effect why i can digest tempeh easily – cause no shitty shalls causing problems. So while u re dehulling the stuff it will split into two. (some recipe is talking about cracking the beans – i experienced that your final ‘cake’ is harder and easier to handle as the legumes been cracked or smashed or chopped up a bit – my tempeh experiment with using whole black beans was kindofadisaster – it tasted amazing but was fallin into pieces cause the bond was not strong enough between the whole beans)
- cooking your soy beans
Get your pot and cook your dehulled soy beans for approx 30 minutes. I saw recipe saying add your 4-5 tbsp of vinegar to the cooking water – some says mix the beans with vinegar after the cooking and drying process. I think both of them working – vinegar prevents the growth of an unwanted bacteria.
- draining and make the mixture of your soy beans
Get your beans dry and let them cool down to 30 degrees. If u added vinegar to the water – dont worry about it, if u didnt, add your vinegar now and mix it well. After sprinkle your tempeh starter as well – WELL, make sure mixed it evenly everywhere.
- let it work
Get your babe into your incubator! Best thing u can use is a plastic bag with wholes in it – making sure u leave your bacteria breathing during the process. Arrange your mix in the plastic bag nice and firm like a loaf, and thats it. Place into a warm corner between 25-30 degrees for 2-3 days. If u see little white ‘hair’ growing around your beans after 24 hours – your tempeh is working!
What u see in the picture is prepared soy beans with some leftover bread. Chef little Mike was working on a ‘bread project’ so he asked me to try to involve bread in the same tempeh cake making process. It was alright but didnt have a mind blowing result.
The rest is up to you and your imagination. The best is coming after this, actually making something very delicious with it. Couple of basic rules u need to follow (like steaming first and marinate etc) what im explaining in the next post promise. I already wrote too much here. LOL