How to Make Tempeh Using a Tempeh Starter:

How to Make Tempeh Using a Tempeh Starter:

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy product that's not only delicious but also packed with protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. It's a fantastic meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans, and making it at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. The key to making tempeh is using a tempeh starter, which is a mixture of live mold cultures that ferment the soybeans. Here's a simple guide to help you make your tempeh. In this article, we will discuss the complete recipe for making tempeh.


  • 2 cups of dry soybeans
  • 1 teaspoon of tempeh starter
  • Vinegar (optional)


  • Large pot
  • Colander
  • Clean towel or cloth
  • Perforated plastic bags or containers

Step 1: Soak the Soybeans

Start by soaking the soybeans in plenty of water for about 8-12 hours or overnight. This process softens the beans and makes them easier to cook and hull.

Step 2: Cook the Soybeans

Drain the soaked soybeans and transfer them to a large pot. Fill the pot with fresh water, ensuring the beans are well covered. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. The beans should be cooked but still firm.

Step 3: Dehull the Soybeans

Once the soybeans are cooked, drain them and rinse with cold water. Rub the beans between your hands or use a kitchen towel to remove the hulls. This step is crucial as the hulls can prevent proper fermentation. Rinse the beans again to remove any loose hulls.

Step 4: Dry the Soybeans

Spread the beans out on a clean towel or cloth and pat them dry. It's important to remove as much moisture as possible to prevent unwanted bacteria from growing during fermentation.

Step 5: Add the Tempeh Starter

Once the beans are dry, transfer them to a mixing bowl. If you're using vinegar, add a splash (about 1 tablespoon) to the beans and mix well. This helps to lower the pH and create a more favorable environment for the tempeh starter. Sprinkle the tempeh starter over the beans and mix thoroughly to ensure even distribution.

Step 6: Pack the Beans

Take your perforated plastic bags or containers and fill them with the inoculated soybeans. Pack the beans tightly to eliminate air pockets, which can lead to uneven fermentation. If using bags, roll them up and secure them with a rubber band or tie.

Step 7: Ferment the Tempeh

Place the packed beans in a warm, dark place to ferment. The ideal temperature for tempeh fermentation is around 85-90°F (29-32°C). You can use a yogurt maker, an oven with a pilot light, or a warm spot in your kitchen. The fermentation process typically takes 24-48 hours. You'll know the tempeh is ready when it's covered in a white, firm mycelium, and the beans have formed a solid cake.

Step 8: Store or Cook the Tempeh

Once the tempeh is fully fermented, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it for longer storage. When you're ready to eat, slice the tempeh and cook it according to your favorite recipe. It's delicious fried, baked, or added to soups and salads.

Recipe Tips - 

  • Make sure all equipment is clean to avoid contamination.
  • If the tempeh smells bad or has black or colorful spots, it may be contaminated and should be discarded.
  • Experiment with different beans or grains for a variety of flavors and textures.

Making tempeh at home using a tempeh starter is a straightforward process that yields a nutritious and versatile ingredient. With a little patience and care, you can enjoy homemade tempeh in your meals and reap its many health benefits. Visit TempehChennai today for more such receipes and products.

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