April 27, 2008

Homemade Tempeh: Tempeh Making



In the sequence of tempeh goreng tepung for Beautiful Bones, I was having this tempeh fermentation ongoing. I was not really sure if they were going to be a success because the tempeh starter was sent to me a year ago by a friend who once lived in Christchurch. The tempeh I made was a bit dry. I think it was because we set the incubator temperature too high for the fermentation (the reason we use incubator that our weather is unpleasant, you know, Autumn is full of promises of gusty wind and frosty mornings). I should have done this in Summer, however, we learn a lot from this.
Anna, thanks so much! I finally am using this starter and enjoying tempeh more than just a block!
This is what I do to make home-made tempeh as an entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Anh of Food Lover's Journey this week.

Ingredients
1 kg soy beans,
1-2g tempeh starter,
grape leaves for wrapping (use plastic bags or banana leaves to substitute)

Equipment for fermentation
incubator (not in Summer or hot climate, I don't think)



Prepare the soy beans. Soy Beans can be purchased at Tofu Shop, if you're in New Zealand. These are the main ingredients to make tempeh. I am not sure about tempeh starter in New Zealand, but it is available in Indonesia, the original rhizophus.





Wash the soy beans and cover with clean water. Leave it overnight.





The next morning, these beans will become softer. This is to make hulling the beans a much easier work. My children were helping me hulling the beans. I know I am a perfectionist, I just wanted them all hulled, perfectly, without any hulls remain. So it took me about 4 hours to get all done, in between home-schooling, morning tea, and lunch (mind you, we're talking about 1 kg of soy beans!). Actually, you do not need to worry if there are a few beans are not hulled thoroughly. The easiest way to hull them is that you press the beans like kneading a dough, then let the hulls to come up on the surface of the water. Discard the hulls and then do it again until finally change the water and make sure the hulls are not there anymore.






Cover the hulled beans with clean water. Cook until cooked. The beans will remain their shape although they are cooked (I love the smell!). Drain the water. Put them on to a wooden tray. If you have banana leaves, you can line the tray with banana leaves. Scatter the soy beans on top and let them a bit cooler. In this picture, I put the soy beans in a bamboo steamer, lined with paper towels.



Meanwhile, prepare the grape leaves (or plastic bag, or banana leaves). I remember my late grandmother used to use daun jati (teak leaves) to replace banana leaves, but we don't grow teak trees here. I thought I can use grape leaves instead. Clean the outer and inner part of the leaves with tea towel. Set aside.


Transfer the cooked beans on a bowl or a container. Sprinkle the tempeh starter and mix until all used and well combined. Take a tablespoonful in the middle of the leaf, then wrap it like you're wrapping a spring roll. Although, my late grandmother used different style of wrapping, I think this is the easiest way to wrap it with grape leaves.



Put these wrapped tempehs on to the trays in the incubator and keep them at 37C (this is too high, perhaps 30-35C would be suitable) for 2-3 days. When they are a success, the rhizophus will cover the whole cakes beautifully in white!

21 comments:

Kalyn said...

So interesting. I'm very impressed that you're making your own tempeh!

Arfi Binsted said...

I am surprising myself, too, Kalyn hehehe...

Li@ said...

disini yang jual tempe banyak banget mba cuman pengen nyoba sayang ga punya raginya hiks

congrats ur tempe so beautiful!

Barbara said...

I'd like to try this arfi. Perhaps when I've finished the Taste Of Yellow round up I'll have time.

mae said...

Mbak, aku sungguh salut sama mbak Arfi. Walau jauh tp tidak melupakan budaya maupun kuliner Indonesia. You're very special Indonesian !

Ditabloid kuliner yang pernah aku baca, ragi tempe bisa dibuat sendiri. Caranya dengan mengeringkan tempe segar yang kemudian dihaluskan / diblender. Tapi untuk tingkat ke'aktiv'an raginya sendiri blm pernah aku coba :) Malu ah sama mbak Arfi... Kalah sama yang jauh dari Indo. Tapi jadi tertarik mo bikin....

Mindy said...

bravo on your homemade tempeh *clapping hands*

Susan from Food Blogga said...

WoW! You made homemade tempeh, Arfi? That is really impressive; I only wish I could try some with you now. And the pic of your children's hands is just delightful.

Arfi Binsted said...

Lia: katanya bisa bikin ragi dari tempe yang sudah dikeringkan.

Barbara: yes, please do, Barb! Tempeh's good to protect colon :D good luck.

Mae: iya di Indonesia serba ada, kalo merantau jadi ga serba ada masakan Indonesia, harus dikerjakan sendiri :D

Ndoel: thanks!

Susan: I'd like to try it again hehehe... and yes, I wasn't sure I could do it, but now I am. Thanks!

Anh said...

So impressive!!! but may I ask where i can get the tempeh starter? I think it should be hard, but oh well I will keep my eyes open!

Sitha Pinet said...

Dear Arfi, thank you for sharing. Some of my friends have tried to make tempe and the results were good. Therefore, I brought 'ragi tempe' from Jakarta. Hope I can try it soon. Btw, my friends used the temperature of 20-21 degrees, and they used congelator plastic bag insteads of leaves for wrapping.

linda said...

How cool to make your own tempeh!

Y said...

I was just talking to a friend about tempeh the other day. We were wondering how easy it was to make your own, because you can't get any good tempeh here in Sydney. Like Anh, I'm also wondering, where I could get tempeh starter from, if I don't have a friend who can supply with me with the stuff :)

Y said...

Thanks for your reply. Keep me posted on a source when you hear back from your friends! I'm dying to make my own tempeh :)

tigerfish said...

For me ,the only tempeh I know has got to be spicy. This is a new version I'm getting to know today! Thanks.

Got here from WHB roundup!

Salt & Turmeric said...

Hi, greetings from California. Blog-hopped here fr somewhere. lol. I love tempe but im not sure im brave enough to make them myself. I dont want to poison myself either. lol.

I just got some from a friend who came visiting. Gonna make tempe salut tepung with sambal kicap. ;)

Farina

Anonymous said...

Some ideas for making tempeh. Use a simple spot light (100W bulb) with a dimmer switch on the cord inside your kitchen oven with an ordinary indoor/outdoor thermometer. Adjust the dimmer switch to get the temperature that is needed. Use your new oven incubator for yogurt and proofing dough too. A grain mill from Czechoslovakia, The Porkert Universal Grinder for about $50 dollars will break apart soybeans for easy hulling to be used for soymilk and tempeh. When you can, buy the SoyPower soymilk machine to make 1/2 gallon soymilk in 20 minutes, use the left over soypulp for tempeh. Make soymilk for 50 cents a gallon. Wow!! Dry the soypulp in a pan on the stove or covered with a towel outside in the sun to get rid of excess moisture before making tempeh. The spores in tempeh discourage other mold growth from what I read. In Indonesia were there are many cottage industries making tempeh sanitation standards are low, but they make tempeh for most of the population. Eating tempeh is supposed to keep people who eat tempeh from getting disentary. Thanx for all the enthusiasm about soyproducts. We really can feed the whole world with soy and other plant protiens.

Arfi Binsted said...

thanks everyone for your lovely comments and information. i do love tempeh and it is still my soulfood. a bit expensive here in new zealand to buy from the supermarket and soy beans are rarely to be found in the area where i live. however, i guess soy products are just great!

Seth H said...

Hi there

I want to make tempeh using the culture from an existing block of tempeh rather than from powdered tempeh stater culture. I know this can be done but I'm looking for advice on how. Would be much appreciated.

Cheers, Seth

arfi binsted said...

Hi Seth, so sorry saw this late.
You can dry the tempeh block first, crumbled it when it's dry and use is as a starter when you are making fresh tempeh block. Good luck!

Jason Payne said...

I cracked my soybeans first in a mortar and pestle, then the skins just all floated off when I soaked them. Leftover pulp from soymilk sounds good too, I wonder if a mix would be good. My incubator is a slow cooker with a thermostat

Earthly Chow said...

Look good. I make my own tempeh also ! http://earthlychow.com/make-tempeh-k-fungus-growing-101