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Tempeh

May 3, 2013
by Shannon Hepburn

Tempeh, why it’s good:

  • it’s a cultured food, therefore gut friendly
  • and a fermented food, again gut friendly
  • has a serious amount of protein
  • user friendly
  • is nutrient dense
  • a good source of fiber
  • it’s a good choice for people avoiding gluten
  • it’s delicious

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Some people who have a tough time digesting soy in the form of tofu have better luck with tempeh. Because tempeh is cultured and fermented, digestibility can be easier. I like its versatility – the nutty dense texture and ability to absorb the flavors in a dish.

Vegetarians looking for a good protein source will find roughly twice the amount of protein in tempeh than in tofu. Rhapsody makes their tempeh in small batches with certified organic soybeans. Tempeh is a great stand-in for meat protein like chicken, pork, beef, and particularly takes well to marinating. It can also be crumbled or cubed and added to chili, soups, or stews.  Thinly sliced, (about 1/4 inch thick) you may either pan fry or grill tempeh for a crusty exterior.

For anyone who has tried tempeh and find it bitter, one option is to steam the tempeh before adding it to your recipe. Steaming reduces the bitter flavor. Steaming also works to soften the tempeh, giving it a more delicious bite. If you are trying tempeh for the first time, make it easy and buy one that’s already flavored like BBQ or Teriyaki. Try it. See what you think.

Here are a few recipes to get you started.

 

EAT WELL AND BE WELL