Making Tempeh Dishes

We are happy that Dada is with us. During the past week, he taught us how to make a traditional Indonesian food, Tempeh. We prepared it and created some delicious dishes with it.

Our vegetarian Bakery and Restaurant is a great vocational training center for our children, so they went to learn the whole Tempeh process.

The Preparation

First, we need beans. Traditionally soy beans, but Tempeh can actually be made with any kind of beans: black beans, red beans or even chickpeas.
We selected only the good ones, taking out the spoiled ones.

Wash and soak the soy beans in water overnight. The beans will expand and will get the right PH for the growth of the Tempeh culture.
After this time, wash again until the water becomes clear.

Boil the beans for maximum 1 hour.
Dry them on a strainer, using a fan to accelerate the process.

Once dried, put the beans in a bowl and add the Tempeh starter: 1 teaspoon of Rhizopus Oligosporus – a bacteria which ferment the beans to become Tempeh.

In order for the bacteria to grow, proper ventilation is needed, so we put the beans into zipped – and reusable – plastic bags with holes.

So, first… make the holes!

Then, pack it!
We tried our best not to touch the beans with our hands, to make good quality Tempeh. Once packed, we pressed with our hands.

Then, keep it in a place with good ventilation, room temperature 25° C.
Here, we put it inside an old oven on a metal mesh, to allow the air to flow through the bags, letting the bacteria grow.



Now, we can cook!


We prepared special rice, Indonesian Style (flavored with leaves):
– compressed in a cylinder form, wrapped in a banana leaf, called Lontong.

– in a diamond-shaped, woven palm leaf pouch, called Ketupat.

The children took notes of the whole process, to make it again by themselves next time.

Here… Tempeh skewers! With a delicious peanut sauce.

And… DONE!

Another day, new dishes! And… new looks!

Here, a delicious green curry with boiled Tempeh and green eggplants,
together with fried Tempeh with basil leaves.

Another day we prepared a healthy and fresh salad with roasted Tempeh.

…And a fragrant yellow rice with coconut milk and turmeric, lemongrass, cinnamon and kaffir lime, called Nasi Kuning.

…To eat together with a sweet and spicy fried Tempeh.

We also dried the Tempeh and blended it to make a powder.

It became a great and healthy Tempeh topping to flavor any dish, rice or even pasta!

Then, we mixed the Tempeh powder with flour, and this will work as a new Tempeh starter!

Here it is, our new Tempeh starter for future productions.

We even made a smoothie with raw Tempeh, fruit and honey!


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