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.
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!