Slice it into Strips (or any shape of your choice like bite-sized-cubes).
Season with Dashi, Sugar, Mirin, Salt and Soy Sauce.
What is Tempeh?
Think of Tempeh (/ˈtɛmpeɪ/; Javanese: témpé) as an super-easy-to-use, delicious plant-based protein source for you and your family.
Tempeh, originally developed in Indonesia, is cooked and hulled soybeans fermented in block shapes. Ingredients can also include grains and/or seeds.
You don’t have to be a vegetarian/vegan to enjoy it. You can introduce a small amount of tempeh and reduce meat quantity in a recipe. Once you and your family like it, you can increase the quantity and add more to your meals in variety of dishes.
Versatile, Delicious and Easy-to-Cook
I am crazy about tempeh because it’s versatile, delicious and easy-to-cook. As someone who is always looking for a short-cut to energy-boosting meals, Tempeh is ideal. I use tempeh instead of meat in variety of dishes: in addition to pan-fried and simmered in dashi (see photos), I use them in soups, salads, and sandwiches.
I like to either pan-fry crisp on the edges like sausages/bacons, or simmer in a small amount of dashi, Japanese cooking stock, to soften the beans/grains a bit.
I like a “plain/original” (soybeans only) variety, because I can flavor it anyway I like, and mix it with any ingredients. I sometimes use multi-grain/seed varieties for a change of textures/flavors.
High in Protein and Iron, Low Sodium, No Trans Fat nor Cholesterol
Just eat it and feel fantastic.
Organic and Non-GMO
The brands I’ve seen in stores such as SoyBoy and Lightlife are typically organic and non-GMO, making tempeh an even more attractive choice for my family.
I usually spend $2-3 for a block of tempeh (8 oz) in Manhattan. Compared to meat that’s organic, locally sourced, raised without antibiotics, and low-fat, the tempeh option is not only physically, but also definitely fiscally fit.
I love the SoyBoy brand because they’re local (for me, located in Rochester, NY) and they use locally-sourced quality ingredients. Their website says, in 1977, Norman Holland and Andrew Schecter started making organic tofu to promote vegetarian lifestyle. Perhaps, few people had heard of “organic” or “tofu” back then. I was curious to find out how in the world these two Americans in Upstate New York started making organic tofu and later tempeh, of all the things. So I sent them an e-mail.
A co-founder, Andrew Schecter, told me in his reply, “Norman and I were both vegetarians when we started Northern Soy (the company that makes SoyBoy products). We were students at the Rochester Zen Center where we were introduced to tofu.”
Andy continued, “We learned to make both tofu and tempeh partly through the writings of William Shurtleff, ‘The Book of Tofu’ and ‘The Book of Tempeh’, and also through years of trial and error. Mostly error….”
I can imagine. And I admire their dream, ambition, perseverance and achievement! I am mostly grateful that I can just buy these delicious hearty blocks from stores near me and enjoy them daily.
Andy also told me, “I love tempeh for a variety of reasons: super high in protein, great hearty texture, and unique nutty/yeasty flavor. I tend to eat tempeh flavored in a lot of different ways, but I also am somewhat addicted to eating it plain out of the package.”
Try tempeh with your favorite cooking method and let me know what you think!