A type of food item made from soy beans (the magical beans). Much like several soy products, tastes exactly like what ever it was cooked in.

"nasty unless cooked with Indonesian spices and very very hot chillies."

Has a firmer texture than in most other soy products (at least in the only examples of it I have had). Also a main ingredient in Fakin' Bacon a vegetarian bacon substitue. may also appear as tempe

Hm. In response to a conversation with jessicapierce I thought it might be useful to node some more detailed information on tempeh.

So what is it? Tempeh is a pressed cake made from soy beans and/or grains that has been a staple in Indonesia for centuries. It is made by hulling and cooking the beans and grains and then inoculating them with a culture called rhizopus oligosporus. The stuff is then incubated overnight. In the tropics, this might not need many special circumstances. If you are doing this at home make sure it is kept at a temperature of 88 Degrees Fahrenheit. The beans or grains will become covered with a thick, white mat of mycelia binding them together into a solid cake.

It can be eaten the next day or refrigerated for about a week. As it ages it will develop unsightly black spots. These are not harmful.

Unlike other soy foods such as tofu, tempeh should not be eaten uncooked.

Tempeh is great, once you get past the slightly weird texture and make sure it's been infused with some interesting flavours. As well as having quite an interesting texture and some flavour of its own (which are both quite pleasant once you get used to them), the way it is cultured apparently destroys the nutrient-sapping chemicals which usually compromise soya products' exceptional nutritionality by reducing the body's ability to absorb nutrients like iron and calcium.

Try it sliced into strips, dipped in salty lemon juice or soy sauce or smeared with miso, and then fried. Alternatively, break it up into small pieces, marinade it and then fry it.

Oolong's rich tempeh marinade:

I sometimes also add some Lapsang Souchong tea, which imparts a smoky flavour to the mix.

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