Comments: Homemade Tempeh


Tempeh is the one "approxi-meat" I haven't really got a feel for. I can't ever quite make it turn out right, though I've had tempeh products and meals other people have prepared that were great.

Any advice?

What has happened when you've tried to make it? From all that I've read, wet beans and a temperature too high or low are the most common pitfalls. To combat the moisture, I just cracked the lid every once in a while (I wanted to check on the mycelia anyhow) to circulate the air. Others go with a fan (though you need to be making it in a closet or something). As I said above, the temperature thing was my downfall the first time. This time, you can see I have a dimmer connected to the incandescent bulb so I could tweak as needed.

The next step for me is to get a thermostat so I can set it...and forget it.

If I didn't quite answer your question, let me know.

It's hard to explain what goes wrong when I cook it. The result is often like that weird "just not right" taste you sometimes get from old ice cubes if you know what I mean?

It's just .... off.

I think I'm confused by the word "cook". Do you mean when you buy it at the store and cook it or when you attempt to make it from scratch?

I've never tried to make it from scratch. Mostly, it's putting it into stir fries, that sort of thing.

Hmm...try going the deep fry route (see the last picture above). This gives it a nice crispy texture and brings out the peanutty flavor, I think. Then add it to your stir-fry near the very end. Or try one of the recipes I'll be posting in the coming weeks.

Or try a different brand. Or make it yourself. In my opinion, nothing bought is as flavorful as the homemade varieties of tofu and tempeh.

Really tempting but very difficult to imagine the taste. Stiil good to know that it enriches in B-12 and is good for health. And most of all, i felt happy that it can be easily made at home.

Thanks for this recipe. I live in the UK and it is almost impossible to find tempeh here. When I've asked at HFSs they go "huh?" and when I have found it, it's too crumbly to use in cooking and tastes "off" as Barrett pointed out.

Barrett, you should try some of the tempeh made from other grains--I think rice is one alternate grain. I prefer the flavor (and I think it also contains soybeans) to the purely soybean tempeh. I know the HFSs in the States carry a wide variety of alternative grain tempeh. The flavor is not so "off" as in the soy-alone product, I think you'll find.

(By the way, it feels really weird typing your name--it's my husband's name, and I've never known anyone else who shares it.)

Indeed there are variations on this tempeh theme. The book by Shurtleff and Aoyagi have all the info you need to make tempeh with rice, garbanzos, and other grains/beans.

I just ordered my starter, I have a question.

Can i soak the soy bean, hull them and boil? seems more easier this way?

Read around, but if I remember correctly, they say to boil and then hull. Don't know why. Maybe it doesn't matter. I would consult Shurtleff and Aoyagi and go with what they say. Good luck; let us know how it turns out.

I think if you hull after cooking, you'll get a sticky mess...

Really? That seems to be how the majority of the recipes look. I guess I'll find out once I run out of split and hulled beans.

Is your source for split and hulled soy beans no longer an option for you? Where did you get them?

I was getting them in Bangkok and since moving from there, I've yet to see soy beans sold already split and hulled. And I've looked in many places. They don't seem common, it seems.

Hello -

I've been making tempeh for a few years and the dehulling method I've settled on is to boil soybeans about 20 minutes and then just let them soak overnight. The next day, I mash them up w/ my hands and skim the hulls of before I boil them fully (about an hour).

Experiment with adding grains - I usually add in brown rice and quinoa. (Only partially cook the grains before adding - if they are too mushy or sticky they can interfere with the tempeh process.)

Hi! I am from the Philippines and I am really interested in introducing tempeh here. Unfortunately tempeh or even the tempeh starter is not available here. Can anyone help me where I can buy tempeh or the starter or is it possible to make tempeh without the starter?

Try the links above the last picture. I ordered from when I was abroad. You definately need the starter to make tempeh (as far as I know).

I'm going to have a report about Tempeh.
I don't know: how many kinds of Tempeh? and what are the different ot them?


I am still looking to find out how to retrieve the starter from Tempeh that is already made, does it work to just expose it to heating, then dry it by adding riceflour?

Does anyone already multiplied his starter and not ordered new one?


The trick to getting Tempeh to taste good when you cook it is too thouroughly steam it first.

Sounded like it's easier to just buy it in the store. I know that you can't be too clean make it or the yeast (starter?) will not grow. Temperature and humidity are the two most important factors in making tempeh. In the tempeh "backyard factory" that I have seen, the air is really warm and musky, it is hard for human to breath. If you see how it is made, you probably would not eat it.

I live in the philippines and have made real nice tempeh on a regular basis for years,I have never used vinegar and it is really not needed.I have never incubated it either being that the temperature here is just perfect with the bags of soybeans right out on my counter.Also try Natto if your interested in a heath giving meal.

I have heard that even if you are allergic to tofu - you may not be to tempeh because it is fermented. I used to be allergic to it as well as to beans of all kinds, but since I have done some cleansing and cleaned up my diet I am no longer allergic to beans I am happy to say. I have been hesitant to try soy though as that was the worst.

Thanks for your input.

Hi. Im from northern Australia with Indo/Malay background. Just wanted to say fried tempeh with rice and really hot chillie sauce rocks! Thats the simplest and greatest dish for me! Dont forget that tempeh is really high in fibre and carbs. Everyone in Indonesia and Malaysia, generally speaking, loves it and is a great and cheaper substitute to meat. However, once again, im disappointed that tempeh starter is hard to get, but optimistic that one day tempeh will take off! beans and bacteria!

I am really suprised at your tempeh picture. I throw mine out when it has gone black like that. Did it smell fresh? I use starter A from the European site and if it's got black dots it in it smells terrible.
I am going to start growing my own starter.

Dear Sir,
We are a producer of small scale tempeh starters from Indonesian pure yeast culture, and wanted to request a link on your page as sales point for tempeh starters in order to provide customer and hobby tempeh makers with a quality tempeh starter from original cultures.

Many thanks

strange i looked around and found a 1 pound bag of starter that made me think people mark the stuff up like illegal drugs!

So cheap. Anyhow im glad to see this page. I break the mold a bit with my tempeh. I steam fall rye for and hour, and incubate it on some screening material in a almost sealed container. i prefer the top layer as it is fluffier than on the inside. kind of like how muffin tops are desireable :)

Anyhow, I choose other grains because soy doesnt do me well and i watched a documentary that scared me away from soy.. well theres ones for animal products too :)

Ill keep experimenting to see what tastes and grows best. Fall rye tempeh is like eating fall rye. its great. Im trying a batch where the starter is added to water and the grain will soak it it. either it will sprout or mold. or both.

Theres a stevens guy who sells fungi/mold to treat seeds to help them grow. i just think i want to be raw, there must be a way to grow it and have the vitality we cooked out.

Dear Sir,
I would kindly request adding our website , because we are selling tempeh starter worldwide for many years, with many options of starters,

Thank you so much

Hello, Have you order tempeh starter at this web-site:

Please let me know whether the process is OK, reliable?

Do you know any stores in US where we can by tempeh starter?

Thanks for helping me.

I just get to know tempeh. I have not tasted or seen it (real) by myself. Therefore, after I order and get tempeh starter, I will have more questions and need your helps. Thanks.

before you fry tempe, the best taste is cut the tempe in small pieces, then pour some lemon juice (just enough to make tempe wet), little bit salt and garlic, then mix them good. Wait for about 2 hour and fry them.

One of the comments above was about the "off" taste that a guy was experiencing from store bought tempeh....if you blanch your tempeh before cooking it it gets rid of that taste! And cheers on this homemade recipe...worked for me on take one!

I live in Palawan in the Philippines and have been ordering tempeh starter from for 2 years now. I started with the free sample, which arrived and worked. Ever since then, perfect transactions every time, fantastic product and reliable service.

Hi, does anyone have any experience with tempeh incubators? What do you think of a glass aquarium incubator?

check this site out , have many different things for making tempeh and tofu, also complete kits including heating elements, great service and online support cheers

Hello Justin,
You have a lovely guide to making tempeh. I am linking to your site from my blog article on the link between genetically modified soy, and only eating fermented soy foods when trying to conceive a baby. Thanks for your beautiful article.
Elnora @ Natural Conception

Hi pinoy , want tempeh , no problem in my backyard ther is plenty(i make tempeh) Concepcion Tarlac
Kds rgds
W vandevijver

good recipes, if u need tempeh starter please visit ""
we sale tempeh starter RAPRIMA for cheap price in best quality.

saw the comments about ordering tempeh starters, I always order via they are located in the US ( Maryland ) and ship all over the world, very proffesional guys, who adressed my questions and problems in no itme. Thumbs up, shipping also cheap


You indicate that spot hulled soybeans are hard to find. Do you have a source to recommend?

I built a very reliable and cheap incubator using a Styrofoam box with a lid, a smaller plastic box, and a fish tank heater (cheap). You put a bit of water in the styrofoam box, along with the heater set at the correct temp, and float the smaller box on the water. With the lid on, the box will stay at the right temp almost spot on, as water retains its heat, and conducts it well. I used it to grow mushroom mycelia.

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