How to make tempeh at home?Making tempeh at your home is very easy. All you need are dried soybeans, tempeh starter and a bit of vinegar. Having a grain mill will make your work a bit easier, then you don't have to split the soaked soybeans by hand. And of course you need a warm place for incubation. Here we explain how to make tempeh step-by-step.
1. To make 1 kg of tempeh you need: 600 g dry soybeans, 6 Tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp (about 3 to 5 grams) tempeh starter.
2. Crack the soybeans by running them trough a loosely set grain mill. Here I used an old laboratory mill, but the Family Grain Mill and the Porkert Universal Grain Mill will also do the job. If you don't have a grain mill or if you cannot buy already dehulled soybeans, continue with using whole soybeans and split the beans by hand at the end of step 3.
3. Soak the beans in plenty of water for about 8 hours (when using split soybeans) or 12 hours (when using whole soybeans). When using whole soybeans, split them with a kneading motion.
4. Remove the hulls by pouring of the water in a strainer. Add fresh water and repeat until most hulls are removed. It is not a problem if a few hulls remain. Some people even make tempeh without removing the hulls; but is is important that all beans are split.
5. Put the soybeans in a cooking pot and cover them with water. Add the vinegar and cook for about 30 minutes. Any remaining hulls will collect on the surface can be spooned off.
6. Drain off the water in a large colander and return the beans to the cooking pot.
7. Dry the soybeans by continuing to heat them in the cooking pot on medium heat for a few minutes until they are dry. Allow the soybeans to cool. This system only works if you make a small batch of tempeh (up to 2 kg) but if you make large quantities you need to dry the soybeans on a large clean towel or centrifuge them (that's what tempeh factories are doing).
8. Sprinkle the soybeans with the tempeh starter and mix with a clean spoon for about one minute to distribute the tempeh starter evenly among the soybeans. It is very important to distribute the tempeh starter evenly.
9. Take 2 plastic bags of about 18x27 cm (7-10 inches) and perforate them with a thick needle to make holes at a distance of about 15-20 mm (6-8 inches).
10. Divide the soybeans into the bags and seal them. Press them flat, to a thickness of about 4 cm (1,5 inch).
11. Place the bags in a warm place at 28-32°C (82-90° F) for 36 to 48 hours, or until all soybeans are covered with a dense white mycelium. When the tempeh start to produce its own heat it is better keep the temperature at the lower end of this temperature range.
12. Your tempeh is now ready. Enjoy your fresh and delicious tempeh! You will notice that it tastes and smells a lot better than store-bought tempeh.