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My adventures with tempeh.

 
 
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 03:36 pm
I have recently discovered tempeh and have incorporated it into my diet as the main source of protein.

Tempeh is a cultivated soybean product using a fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus, to infect the beans and partially digest them and especially to break down the oligosaccharides or bean sugar that is so difficult or even impossible for us to digest, but is such wonderful food for the gas-producing bacteria in our colons.

The end product, tempeh, is a whitish, solid cake-like product that is sliced and fried and incorporated into other dishes or eaten by itself. Tempeh is virtually tasteless if done right, something like tofu, but with a superior texture and nutrition.

I first tried it in the commercial form from Whole Foods Market but didn't like it because of a peculiar taste. I since have made it myself and have found it most agreeable.  

I think this is the answer to anyone wishing to go vegan or vegetarian. The problem was getting enough protein. Problem solved! Also, problem solved for protein shortage in third world countries provided they can afford soybeans. But it's much cheaper than feeding the soybeans to animals and then eating the animals.


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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 1,087 • Replies: 34
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 04:44 pm
@coluber2001,
If you're happy with this discovery, I'm happy for you.

Keep it off my plate.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:09 pm
@coluber2001,
I am with Roger on this one. I have tried tempeh. It is rubbery and sour with no other flavor other than a hint of musty cardboard.

My most recent adventure, I took my daughter to a vegetarian cafe in Central Square in Cambridge, MA. We went there not because it is vegetarian, because they have the best gluten free pancakes in the Northeast.

My daughter saw the phrase "tempeh bacon" on the menu... well she saw the word "bacon" without understanding the meaning of the word "tempeh". I told her I didn't think she would like it... but she insisted. She really tried to take a second bite, just to show to me that I was wrong.... she really tried (proving your dad wrong is very important to a preteen girl). But she couldn't.

Neither of us will ever try tempeh again.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:11 pm
@roger,
I take it you'll just be enjoying the tofu platter then roger? And for dessert you get a dish of pistachioi or chocolate tofutti with soy nuts.

(Tofutti and soy nuts I like. tofu I don't understand too well)

If I see tempeh I'll give it a try.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:33 pm
Every Saturday for breakfast we have tempeh slices; rashers, in fact (it says on the pack)
https://images2.imgbox.com/f8/89/rLheqAmL_o.jpg
My (vegetarian) wife calls them "false bacon". They are great.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 05:40 pm
@Sturgis,
I just deleted a three paragraph response in favor of "You might be a bit odd".
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 06:12 pm
As a woman of a certain age+ , I watch my soy intake very carefully. It has to be a superb dish to become one of my treat meals. Tempeh hasn't made it there.

(also have environmental issues with industrial soy production so it has to be a doubly wonderful soy dish for me to order it/prepare it)

If you like it - good on you.

Will be watching for any recipes you post ... just in case Smile
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 06:17 pm
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:
soy nuts I like


I do miss being able to nosh on chili-lime soy nuts.

these were my favs

https://dqzrr9k4bjpzk.cloudfront.net/images/6917321/398334739.jpg
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 06:21 pm
I don't do soy.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 07:09 pm
I have soy-something maybe once a year. My ability to like it once in a while is due to a dish at a restaurant in west LA - firm and mildly crispy tofu with chinese sausage (I forget the name right now, but it was tasty, something sounding like lang chou), in a good soup. Well, that was quite long ago, nothin' as good since.

Like ehBeth, I leave soy mostly alone for medical reasons. Plus I've no good restaurant around here for asian food. My bottle of soy sauce is years old, high in the cupboard. I have some tofu in the fridge, time to toss it before it starts to crawl.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 07:21 pm
I think tempeh is one of those things that isn't very good mass-produced. Like bread it has to be fresh and homemade or it's not any good at all.

I suspect the problem is that in order to prolong the shelf life of the tempe it's steamed or boiled in order to kill the active fungus and prevent further growth. I tried boiling it once and it imparted that peculiar off-flavor that you have to mask.

Tempeh is a staple in Indonesia. There are 92,000 shops that produce tempeh, most of them probably small cottage industries. The climate is warm enough so they don't have to add heaters to incubate the fungus.

0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Dec, 2017 09:48 pm
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Tempeh_raw.jpg
Here's what commercial tempeh looks like.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Dec, 2017 12:18 pm
I like tempeh with stir fry. The tempeh is lost in the mass of vegetables. Also, with spaghetti it's pretty good. You can't think of tempeh as a main course like a slab of meat, for its better subordinate to a dish of vegetables.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Dec, 2017 01:19 am
Tempeh can be made with other beans too. Black beans are said to be the best, but I haven't tried them yet. Beans are notoriously difficult to digest mostly because of the oligosaccharides, which is bean sugar. One thing the fungi are doing is breaking down the sugar so we can digest it. I suppose it's something similar to lactose-intolerant people being able to eat cultured milk and cheese.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Dec, 2017 05:09 pm
@coluber2001,
Now that you've added black beans into the mix, I'm even more interested in trying tempeh. (I love black beans)
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2018 12:17 pm
Many nutritionists recommend not eating unfermented soy products, that is soy milk, tofu, and soy protein isolate. This is because these products contain phytic acid, phytoestrogens, added solvents to produce soy protein isolate, and other problems. But the same nutritionists that recommend against eating soy products recommend eating fermented soy products. These are tempeh, miso, soy sauce, and natto.

Tempeh and possibly natto are the only foods that are eaten in large quantities for nutritional purposes.  I have been making my own soy tempeh for about 3 months now and have just very recently started making black bean tempeh. I've read many accounts of people preferring black bean tempeh over soy tempeh, so I thought I would give it a try.

Making soy tempeh is somewhat time-consuming, because you have to split the beans and remove the hulls manually. This is a lot of work. For one pound of beans about 45 minutes is required to remove the hulls or skins. Further time is required to dry the beans before they're inoculated with the starter culture. Black beans don't require removal of the hulls, and they don't require drying. So the process in making black bean tempeh is simple: soak the beans overnight, cook the beans, drain the beans, add vinegar and the starter culture, and incubate. And there is no worry about any deleterious effects from soy. Also, non GMO and organic soybeans are about twice as expensive as black beans. GMO soybeans contain Roundup which is a health concern.

Of course black beans aren't quite as nutritious as soy, that is they are more deficient in some of the amino acids. But that can be easily remedied by including some corn, whole wheat, or wheat germ with the meal.

https://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/images/homemade-tempeh-recipe-black-bean.jpg
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2018 01:10 pm
@coluber2001,
Interesting. How are you using the black bean tempeh?
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2018 02:09 pm
@ehBeth,
I use tempeh mainly in stir fry or spaghetti-like dishes. It can be sliced and fried to the point of crispiness, but I don't eat it like that unless I'm in a hurry. I don't think of tempeh as a main course but just a high protein additive to a recipe. I like the black bean tempeh better than the soy tempeh, which, at times, can have sort of a musty taste.

I think tempeh is important to vegetarians and especially vegans who are looking for a high protein alternative to animal protein. Also it's cheap, especially the black bean tempeh which would run about $0.25 per meal, maybe twice that for non-GMO soy tempeh.
coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Jan, 2018 04:09 pm
I'm now thinking of tempeh as simply a way of incorporating beans into a diet without all the problems of beans, the difficulty of digestion and the resulting gas and bloating as a byproduct of the gut bacteria.

Beans are not only an important part of the vegan and vegetarian diet as a concentrated source of protein, but also as a potential permanent food source in the third world countries.

Tempeh is often thought of as synonymous with soy tempeh, but many if not most beans are also suitable for tempeh. Tempeh neutralizes many of the deleterious effects of soy but not all, such as the effects of phytoestrogens.  Many nutritionists who advise against soy recommend cultured soy in the form of tempeh or natto, miso and soy sauce. Also GMO  and non organic soy  pose additional potential problems, but organic and non-GMO soy are more expensive. GMO soy is it problem because of the application of the herbicide Roundup. The gene in GMO soy is added to make a soy immune to Roundup, but consuming Roundup may be unhealthy for humans.( perhaps an understatement as I don't know anybody who would recommend eating Roundup.) As far as I know Roundup is not applied to the other beans, such as black beans which I use.

A single serving of black bean tempeh costs me about $0.20, which is less than half that for a single serving of soy tempeh. But I've found that one pound of dried black beans yields 2 lb of black bean tempeh, whereas 1 lb of dried soybeans yields only about 1 in 1/4 lb of soy tempeh. However, a lot of that may simply be the additional water in the black bean tempeh.


Overall, I think tempeh made from black beans may be a much safer and cheaper tempeh, which is especially important for third world country applications. Plus producing black bean tempeh is much simpler than soy tempeh. The only disadvantage of black bean tempeh is that, being an incomplete protein, it has to be combined with another protein source such as wheat or corn.

From what I understand Indonesia maybe the only country where tempeh (soy tempeh) is a high-protein staple (second only to fish).
I don't know if they've experienced any collective health problems from the high consumption of soy tempeh, but it would be a simple thing for them to convert to other beans.






0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jan, 2018 04:57 pm
@coluber2001,
I wonder if it could work in something like this

http://cafejohnsonia.com/2014/08/tempeh-black-bean-vegan-taco-salad.html

I'll definitely poke around in recipeland as stir-fries/pastas aren't generally my thing.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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