All you need to know about Tempeh!

Tempeh is made by a natural culturing and fermentation process using Rhizopus culture, which is a type of beneficial fungus.

Tempeh fermentation

Tempeh has been a staple source of plant-based protein for hundreds of years, originally from Indonesia.

Often used as protein substitute in place of meats, there are plenty of benefits of consuming tempeh:

Alami Tempeh is made fresh locally in Vancouver using only premium ingredients: GMO-free Canadian soybeans and certified tempeh culture.

Good quality tempeh :

  • The yellowish beans are bound into a firm, compact cake by a dense, uniform white mycelium.
  • Tempeh has a pleasant, clean, subtly sweet or mushroomy aroma.
  • The entire cake can be lifted up as a single, cohesive cake, and thinly sliced pieces should hold together well without crumbling when shaken gently.
  • Pink colour sometimes occurs from the color of the bean. When it changes to much darker colour, it is time to check whether tempeh is still edible.


Inedible tempeh:

  • Beans are foul or rotten smelling like strong ammonia or alcohol, indicating the development of undesirable bacteria.
  • Slimy, mushy or sticky Tempeh cake with a collapsed structure that is limp when bent.
  • Colour is tan to brown.

Visually, you can tell whether a tempeh is still good to eat or not:

Good Tempeh Bad Tempeh
good tempeh bad tempeh

Cooking and Storage

Tempe is perishable. Some tips on storing tempeh:

  • Fresh, unpasteurized tempeh is best kept refrigerated (2- 4C), shown until the ‘use by date’ on the package.
  • Always monitor the changes of colour in Tempeh.
  • Tempeh can also be kept frozen for up to 1 year. Once thawed in the refrigerator, tempeh is best consumed within 2 days.

In a short and easy way:

Tempeh Cooking

In Details:

  1. Choose a shape
    Once tempeh removed from the packaging, there are lots of options for shapes. It all depends on the dish being prepared. It can be sliced, chopped or cubed. If being shredded or crumbled is chosen, steam or simmer it first will help.
  2. Choose the marinades and dry rubs
    Tempe is porous which means that it gets lots of flavour into it through marinades or dry rubs. To be more effective, simmer the tempeh in a marinade!
    To marinate the tempeh:
    Basic marination : salt, garlic and options of coriander, cumin
    Or combine some favourite ingredients such as tamari or soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, ginger and spices.
    When marinating, let it sit for at least half an hour and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
    To use dry rubs:
    Prepare a spice blend to create a flavour profile to achieve. Gently rub the spices into the tempeh to make sure they penetrate. Let the tempeh sit 10 – 15 minutes to absorb the spices.
  3. Choose cooking methods
    Sautee: Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, place tempeh in the oil and cook until golden brown.
    Fry: Similar to sautéing, heat some oil in a pan and cook the tempeh until golden brown. This can be breaded or battered to get a crisp crust.
    Bake: Tempeh can be baked by laying the pieces on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
    Grill: Place sliced tempeh on a greased grill or grill pan, and cook until golden and crisp around the edges on both sides.
    Ground /crumbled/ grated / chopped / cubed : Directly add these types of tempeh into sauces, curries, stews and chillies. It will take on the flavours of the dish.

There are a lot of recipes, traditional, modern, vegan and vegetarian styles. You can find some of our recipes here or contact us at info@alamifoods.ca.