Tempeh is a traditional soy product, originally from Indonesia, and is made usually from cooked fermented soy beans. I don’t use soy products, so I substituted soy beans with organic, yellow, split peas. I been using previously buckwheat, chickpeas, black beans, red lentils and cashews, yellow peas are my favorite when it comes to texture and flavor. Tempeh is a nutrient-dense food with a high amount of protein, as well as various vitamins and minerals. Tempeh also contains prebiotics, which may improve digestive health and reduce inflammation. Fermentation gives it a deep, nutty flavor, kind of like a Brie cheese, but more dense (it is called sometimes Indonesian Brie), with some savory, meaty (umami) notes. Prebiotic and fiber in it let’s the healthy colonies in the gut thrive on. The fermentation process breaks down the phytic acid and anti-nutrients from the peas, which makes it easier to digest and absorb.
1 lb of yellow split peas
1 tbsp of kombucha vinegar
1/3 tsp of tempeh starter Rhizopus oligosporus
- Soak the split peas overnight in a room temperature, splash of vinegar, then drain the peas and rinse twice with water.
- Add the peas in a pot and cover by 2-3 inches with water, add Himalayan salt to flavor.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until just tender but not falling apart.
- Drain the cooked peas in a strainer and allow to cool, you want them to be almost completely dry.
- Add the peas to a bowl and mix in kombucha vinegar and tempeh starter culture
- Spoon them into freezer bag with holes poked through, lightly press down the peas in the bag so it lies flat.
- I use oven bread proof program for fermenting, it’s about 100 F, if you don’t have bread proof program, leave the oven light on, use seedling mat or dehydrator.
- Place the bag in the oven.
- Leave it 24-48 hours until the bag is fully colonized with the white, fuzzy culture and has formed a solid block.
- When the tempeh has become a solid block, remove it from the bag and store it in an container in the fridge.
- Enjoy it fried, baked, grilled or on the barbecue.
- You may see some grey/black spots develop on the tempeh – this is normal and safe. It’s also common for the tempeh to smell slightly sour.