How to make tempeh (better then this)

How to make tempeh (better then this)

Attempt #1

There a quiet a few instructions on the internet how to make tempeh. My first batch I did following these easy method instructions. This was the result.

I was not very happy with it. As you can see the tempeh is getting black spots and the whole hulled beans were not holding together very well. My thought is that the holes I punctured were not big enough … and maybe I should use a sterilised (poor hot water over it) picker.

Attempt #2

I found some yellow split peas at a discount supermarket. And decided to make tempeh with these. They are soy free and very cheap. I paid for 1 kg around 65 pennies or 78 euro cent.

I looked at the following two website for instructions.

  • Tempehtation full ingriedients and instructions on the left
  • ingredients and instuctions after the / on the right in bold in case different.


  • 500 grams of yellow split peas
  • 5 tablespoons of 5% acidity white vinegar or apple cider vinegar or the juice of a lemon / 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Tempehtation starter / 1/3 teaspoon of tempeh starter as you can see both recipes use the same tempeh starter.


  1. Both want you to soak the beans overnight.
  2. Then rinse thoroughly
  3. Put into a cooking pot and add water and add 5 tablespoons of vinegar / no vinegar yet!
  4. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes / 20 – 30 minutes
  5. Strain of the water and cool
  6. Then dry the peass on tea towels, add a electric van on them so they are almost completely dry / dry for 1-2 hours on a clean tea towel and pat dry
  7. Add the peas to a bowl stir in the tempeh starter / here they add the vinegar 1TBSP!
  8. Stir it all up and put into the punctured plastic bags – holes are 1.5 cm apart.
  9. The peas / beans should have a temperature steady 27C / store at 25-30 degrees C
  10. Once small condensation is visible remove the tea towels and leave the tempeh to ferment. / until you see a few areas of white, dust-like spots forming inside the bag (these can be quite subtle so look closely)
  11. Remove the tea towels and leave the tempeh to ferment. / Once the fermentation has started the tempeh will start creating its own heat, so you want to lower the temperature slightly to around 20-24 degrees C. Leave the bag/container wrapped in a clean tea towel for 24-36 hours (max 48) until the bag is fully colonised with the culture and has formed a solid block (see photo below). For this part we place the container in our airing cupboard.

How I will do it

  • In my previous tempeh attempt I added the vinegar to the boiling water. So now I decided that I would instead add it at the end.
  • I also want to make bigger holes in the plastic bags and do this with a serilized nail.
  • On top of that I will dry the beans / peas much more. With the electric van. So that no mold will form.
  • I also will use an electric blanket this time to keep the temperature. I have a gas oven and that just does not work.

I cannot fault the result. Absolutely delighted with this perfect tempeh. It became a white block after about 36 hours. I left it for another 12 hours and then peeled it away from the bag.

Hardly any black spots. The block is super solid and it smells divine. Nutty and fresh. So different from the first attempt. Where the block was falling apart. I am ashamed to have publish it. However think that it’s good to see how it should NOT be.

This second attempt Tempeh is superb. Without any spices this tempeh is delicious as a snack. Make sure you use coconut oil as this oil can stand much higher temperatures then olive oil. On top of it, coconut oil gives the tempeh a nice flavour.

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