RAPID FERMENTATION (30 to 48 hours)

A fermented food...

Originating from Indonesia, tempeh is a unique food obtained through the fermentation of legumes. This transformation is made possible by the action of a specific fungus, Rhizopus Oligosporus. Far from being just simple mold, this fungus envelops and binds the soybeans, transforming them from the inside. The result? A rich and flavorful food that carries within it all the magic of fermentation.


As for the kitchen, Tempeh is easy to cook and a very versatile food. It takes the flavor of what it is cooked or marinated in. you can simply fry Tempeh in a pan or you can also use in all existing recipes as a meat replacement.

With a range of possibilities !

Although traditionally made with soy, it is possible to make Tempeh with all kinds of legumes or grains (lentils, chickpeas, beans, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, split peas...)

A super food

Tempeh is very rich in vegetable protein, it contains 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of tempeh which is almost twice as rich in protein as tofu for the equal weight. These proteins are also very well assimilated by the body thanks to the fermentation process.

Last but not least! The list of its nutrients is quite long: it contains many minerals (calcium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium), vitamins (A, E K, B), probiotics, as well as all the essential amino acids to the organism. Moreover, the fact that it is low in fat and contains no cholesterol.

Buy Organic Tempeh starter

The benefits of making your Tempeh at home

Homemade Tempeh is always better! On one side, the homemade Tempeh is fresh covered with a fluffy white mycelium, it smells both hazelnuts and mushrooms.

These are characteristics that are not found in an industrial Tempeh because pasteurization, used to allow longer conservation of food, it modified the texture, the taste and the nutritional added value of the product. So, if you make your Tempeh at home, you can also benefit from all its nutritional rewards.

Making it at home will cost you about 5 times less than buying it in the store, and nothing is better than seeing the mushroom grow before your eyes!

How does the ferment (rhizopus oligosporus) work ?

Native to Indonesia, the Rhizopus Oligosporus (Tempeh mushroom) thrives in equatorial climatic conditions. To allow the fungus to develop properly, we need to reproduce these optimal conditions by controlling:

  • Heat : In order to start the fermentation process, the tTmpeh must be placed in an environment close to 30°c (ideally between 27°c to 33°c ).
  • Humidity : humidity is obtained by cooking the soybeans and then drying them. It is then maintained thanks to the containers used for fermentation (often perforated freezer bags).
  • Oxygen : The Rhizopus Oligosporus needs oxygen to grow. In Indonesia, Tempeh is made from banana leaves: this helps maintain humidity while giving oxygen to the fungus. If you don’t have banana leaves, we can use perforated zip bags, silicone molds or perforated Tupperware.

The keys to succeed in making Tempeh at home

Priority on Cleanliness

Fermentation is a delicate process that requires a sanitary environment. Before you start, make sure your hands, workspace, and all your tools are perfectly clean. This ensures a successful fermentation and high-quality tempeh.

Managing Humidity

Excessive humidity can hinder the fermentation of tempeh. To ensure optimal fermentation:

Seed Drying: After cooking, spread the hot seeds on a towel to eliminate excess moisture. If they still seem damp, a quick sauté in a pan can help.

Appropriate Cooking: Except for soybeans, which require 30 to 45 minutes, other legumes and grains should be cooked “al dente” to avoid excessive water absorption.

During Fermentation: If you opt for the plastic-free method, be attentive to moisture that may accumulate at the bottom of the container. As soon as the tempeh is compact enough to handle, consider blotting the bottom to ensure optimal fermentation.

Make Tempeh with our Tempeh starter

Creating a 30°C Temperature

Madame Ferment offers you two tested and approved options:

Option 1 – Hot Water Bottle: Use a hot water bottle that you place in a turned-off oven or a heat-retaining box. The advantage of this method is that you only need to fill the hot water bottle once, and then it will naturally cool down. The heat generated by the tempeh will suffice to continue the fermentation process.

Option 2 – Specialized Equipment: If you’re planning to ferment larger quantities of tempeh or want more precise temperature control, invest in a small thermostat with a probe that you can connect to a heating element.

Maintaining a 30°C Temperature

After placing your tempeh to ferment at around 30°C for 15 to 20 hours, they begin the fermentation process and start generating their own heat. At this stage, it’s essential to closely monitor the temperature to avoid overheating the tempeh. Here are some tips:

– Remove the Heat Source: Once the tempeh starts to generate its own heat, an external heat source is generally unnecessary. The hot water bottle is ideal because its heat naturally decreases without the need for intervention.

Measure the Temperature: Use a thermometer placed directly under the tempeh to monitor its temperature. Aim for a stable temperature between 28 and 33°C.

Beware of Overheating: If the tempeh exceeds 35°C, remove the heat source and place the tempeh in a cool place until its temperature drops back to 30°C. The tempeh can finish fermenting outside of the oven.

Air Circulation: To avoid overheating, place the tempeh on an elevated rack, promoting air circulation and preventing heat accumulation.

Adjust as Needed: If the tempeh’s temperature is below 28°C, slightly increase the heat. If it’s too high, turn off the heat source and place your tempeh in a cooler location.

Keep these tips in mind for preparing your Tempeh!


Tempeh of legumes

What you will need

For around 800g of Tempeh

  • 500 g of legumes (dehulled soybeans, beans, lentils, split peas, chickpeas)
  • 2,5 g of Tempeh starter / 1 teaspoon
  • 30 ml of cider vinegar / 2 tablespoons (it helps to acidify the environment and prevent the development of bacteria)
  • A container: freezer bags perforated every centimeter or a covered container
  • A heat source to start the fermentation (you can use an oven with a hot water bottle or light all around / or a thermostat connected to a small heater / or set the temperature before a radiator).
  • A thermometer to control the temperature during fermentation (optional)

To make tempeh, it is important to buy dehulled soybeans because whole soybeans are not suitable for this purpose because of their protective coating. Organic stores usually carry this type of product!

Is my Tempeh successfully fermented ?

My Tempeh is a success :

  • The Tempeh is covered with a fine down, all the grains are bound by mycelium
  • The smell must be pleasant and reminiscent of mushroom and/or hazelnut
  • the Tempeh can have “black spots” especially in the places where there is the most oxygen (at the level of the holes for the freezer bags). This means that the mushroom has sporulated, it is completely normal and edible!

Tempeh went bad :

  • Some grains are not colonized by the fungus: the ferment was poorly mixed or the fungus had no oxygen to develop.
  • The Tempeh has an unpleasant smell: this means that your Tempeh has overheated or that the grains were not dry enough (or both)
  • Some parts are wet or sticky: your Tempeh has been colonized by bad bacteria which has prevented the development of the mycelium. This is probably related to an overheating.
  • There are pink or green spots: unpleasant bacteria have joined to the fermentation. This problem can be linked to overheating or a lack of cleanliness in the work area.

How to store my Tempeh ?

After fermentation place your Tempeh in the refrigerator without stacking them so that they cool properly (this can take a day).

Once well chilled, you can keep Tempeh for about seven days in the fridge and several months in the freezer.

You can keep it directly in the bags or in the boxes used for fermentation just as you can transfer them to Tupperware.