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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Homemade tempeh



One of the great vegan source of protein. for 2000 years Indonesians have been fermenting soybean into cakes and then making all kinds of delicious treats with them. Now i know some of you are saying, "soy is evil, it makes men grow tits, it cause the end of western civilization, makes people gay and perhaps even worse". Yeah, whatever. I read the shabby anti soy research and i read the amusing Wesson Price stuff and well, i eat soy and have no plans on stopping. Why do i ignore this shabby research you might ask? Well, for obvious reason. the research is simply based on isolated soy protein, not based on real food, thus it is irrelevant. The research should convince you to avoid isolated soy protein but again, who cares as if you read this blog, chances are you have no interest in eating PVC (procesed vegan crap) which is what that research is really talking about. But it only takes a small amount of thought to think that if a food is consumed by traditional cultures for 2 thousand years, it has not destroyed them and therefore that may have more importance than the writings of a crotchity old dentist and some articles funded by the meat and dairy industry. That said, here is how you can make your own tempeh :)

One can buy tempeh in most health food stores and even the ultra evil mega corporation Whole Foods sells tempeh for absurdly high prices. And of course, the homemade product is always far superior to what you can purchase in a store. Besides, Lesson #1 for learning to cook is to avoid ultra evil, Whole Foods like it is the plague that it is.

You will need some equipment to make tempeh;
trays, preferably glass
an incubator or something that keeps temperature at 92 degrees. Tempeh, like yeast is very temperamentl and needs specific temeratures to develop.
Something to cover your trays with such as foil or plastic wrap. I loathe plastic but it helps to be able to see through and besides foil is evil, too.
A pin to poke holes in your wrap
soy beans (organic, non gmo, only!)
tempeh starter.

Tempeh starter i easily found online though a few resources.

Soak one pound of soybeans overnight (about 2 cups)
You need to then remove the hulls and split the bean in half. This is done by submerging hte beans in a bowl of water and reaching in and with a massaging motion, crack the beans and remove the hull. This is the most time consuming part of making tempeh but it is easy and if you have children, they will enjoy helping. The hulls will rise to the surface and you can skim them off.
Then rinse your beans off and boil them in ample water for 45 minutes or till cooked. Cooking time varies depending on how fresh your beans are.
After cooking, drain the beans well. Then lay them on a towel and blot them dry. Moisture will inhibit the spores from developing.

Add 1 tsp cider vinegar to your beans and enough tempeh spores for 1 pound. The amount of spores needed varies from spore maker to maker. Check the package your spores came in.
Mix the spores into the beans. Place the beans into 2 separate trays, laying them evn. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and poke many pinholes in the wrap to allow steam to escape. Again, moisture content is crucial so do not skip this step.

Incubate for 24 hours at 92 degrees. Your tray of beans will now be a cake of tempeh to be enjoyed in a variety of dishes

1 comment:

  1. We love to make our own tempeh, the smell and taste is amazingly earthy and mushroomy, and it is great fun to watch the white mycelium strands grow. We made a fancy little incubator out of an old cooler - you can find directions online. but in the end we found that our oven with the light on was nearly the perfect temperature. we still have to monitor it because at the end of the incubation process the cakes start to give off their own heat and we have to crack the door a little to keep it from getting too hot.

    go phil!