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What is tempeh?

An ancestral food consumed in Indonesia for 2000 years, tempeh is a central food in vegan cuisine. It readily replaces meat in many recipes, giving them that 100% healthy and vegan touch.

Tempeh is a product made from fermented soybeans. In the manufacturing process, whole soybeans are first broken in half and then stripped of their skins. They are then cooked and mashed before being seeded with a fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus. During the fermentation process, white molds form and give the tempeh its special appearance: the texture of firm and slightly rubbery nougat with a rind similar to that of aged cheese.

Tempeh has an earthy taste, with aromas of mushroom and nutty. It is marketed in block form and comes in different varieties: plain, with seaweed, with cereals (wheat, barley, oats), with legumes (red or white beans, peanuts) or even with coconut.

The tempeh that you can find at Meat & Meet Market is made with lentil or chick peas or black beans and it's made by Putri Indah who also made the excellent yoghurt "Yoghurlicious".

Tempeh health profile

Like tofu, tempeh contains an interesting amount of plant protein of high biological value, in that it contains all the essential amino acids for the body. Pound for weight, tempeh is more than twice as rich in protein as tofu: 19g of protein / 100g of tempeh versus 8g of protein / 100g of tofu.

Tempeh is also very rich in fiber (unlike tofu) and provides potassium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins of group B. It also contains iron, but iron from the vegetable diet being less well absorbed than that from animal kingdom foods, it is interesting to consume tempeh with a food rich in vitamin C (citrus fruits, persimmon, kiwi, parsley, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) to increase assimilation iron.

How to use tempeh?

Because of its spongy texture, tempeh is a great flavor absorbent. It is therefore interesting to let it marinate, in soy sauce, sesame oil or coconut milk for example, and all kinds of spices.

Either way, and whatever variety you choose, it's important to cook tempeh well before consuming it. It can be fried or sautéed in a quality oil such as olive or sesame oil. The cooking time can vary from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the desired texture: the more it is cooked, the more it becomes crisp and takes on a golden hue. Ideally, drain it on paper towels before serving to remove the excess fat that it absorbs during cooking.

Tempeh can be added to soups and to garnish burgers and pizzas for example. Used to make sauces, it can be cooked in bolognese to replace meat in lasagna, shepherd's pie or spaghetti bolognese. Cooked but cold, it will go wonderfully with mixed salads. It can also replace meat in traditional stews (blanquette, curry, etc.) or be served on skewers.

What is the difference between Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegetalian ?

Being vegan is a way of life based on the refusal of any animal exploitation. The opportunity to ask the question: vegetarian, vegetalian, vegan, what's the difference?

A vegetarian is a person who does not consume products from animal flesh, that is to say neither meat nor fish. A vegetalian also excludes eggs, dairy products, shellfish, honey, and any other animal product, like gelatin. Its diet is based on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. The vegan, on the other hand, adopts a lifestyle that refuses all suffering and animal exploitation. This applies to their diet, with the adoption of a vegan diet, as well as to all other choices and everyday consumer products.

Finally I found that tempeh is something to discover, it is good to know some alternative. Life become a day by day, we must learn to keep ourselves as healthy as possible, we are called upon to make decisions more often than not to be in the context in which we live and especially to make changes. Why not a new culinary experience?

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