Tempeh is a staple Indonesian soy food crafted from whole soybeans, water, and a special healthful bacterium. Then it is allowed to ferment for several hours, forming a high Vitamin B Complex content including B12 (an essential vitamin for vegetarians). As it is made from whole soybeans rather than from their ‘milk’,it is has different characteristics and a firmer, chewier texture than tofu.
It is a winner for people with difficulty digesting plant based proteins because it is fermented it is already partially digested and does not create the uncomfortable gastric distress like some other bran products. Tempeh has a genuine flavor of its own, unlike tofu, and can readily accommodate stronger flavors during preparing, marinating and saucing.
Tempeh is available pre-packaged, ready to prepare in natural food stores, and is crafted into several varieties. It will absorb most the oil during cooking, so in the interest of you heart and liver, it is a good idea to use half as much oil when sautéing.
The Lightlife Company produces several Organic Tempeh products: Plain Soy, Soy with Flax, with Garden Veggies, Three Grain and Wild Rice as well as Fakin’ Bacon strips.
For some people, tempeh is love at first bite; for others it is a relationship that grows more slowly. Personally, I think that it has a lot to do with the way it is prepared. Don’t be afraid to experiment with tempeh.