• 18/06/2024 11:11

What is tempeh and how to use it in cooking?

If you're transitioning to a plant-based diet and are ready to give up tofu, tempeh may be the next ingredient to add to your regular shopping list. But you're probably wondering what tempeh is, what it tastes like, the benefits of tempeh, and how to use it in cooking.

ContentWhat is tempeh?What are the benefits of tempehHow to use tempeh in cooking

Don’t worry. WomanEL has the answers to all your burning pacing questions. They may convince you that you need to eat this food more often.

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is an excellent meat substitute made from soybeans. It is also an alternative to other beans or grains, such as barley or wheat, which are fermented by yeast and bacteria. Tempeh has a firm texture that pairs well with many main dishes, as well as a nutty, umami flavor reminiscent of mushrooms.

Tempeh is not usually eaten in its pure form. Like tofu, it has a very mild flavor and is an excellent carrier for sauces and spices. You can simply marinate it in soy sauce or whatever sauces and spices you use for your dish (think Mexican spices like cayenne pepper for tempeh tacos, or delicious pesto for making tempeh meatballs with pasta).

Tofu (pictured) and tempeh differ not only in texture, but also in nutritional properties, Source: pexels.com

Like tofu, tempeh is typically made (at least in part) from soybeans and is native to Asia. Tofu probably originated in China, but tempeh has its roots in Indonesia. Tofu and tempeh have different cooking methods. Tofu is made by extracting milk from soybeans and then curdling it into blocks. This gives the tofu a smooth, silky texture. Tempeh, meanwhile, uses whole soybeans and typically has a firmer, nuttier texture.

Tempeh also offers additional nutritional benefits, such as more protein and probiotics, than its soy companion.

What are the benefits of tempeh

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Publication from Gluten-Free-Vegan (@pan.i.vegan)

Tempeh is a powerhouse of nutrients thanks to the fermentation process that creates it and its soy base. It contains almost the same amount of protein as steak, as well as many key nutrients – iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. The fermentation process infuses tempeh with probiotics, which can help improve gut health, as well as plenty of fiber.

If you're on a gluten-free diet, there's one thing to watch out for. Some tempeh is made with wheat or other grains, so you should check the label to make sure it is truly gluten-free.

How to use tempeh in cooking

Tempeh can be easily used in any recipe that calls for tofu. But it can also be an excellent meat substitute in many dishes. Tempeh is especially easy to substitute in recipes that call for marinades, as it easily absorbs the flavors of any spices or sauces added to it. If you want to substitute tempeh in a dish that doesn't require marinating, you can still do so. Just let the tempeh soak in the sauce for at least half an hour before cooking.

Tempeh can be crumbled and used in place of ground meat in tacos, chili or pasta sauce, or stored whole and served on top of fries or salads.

Interested in learning about other new food products? We suggest finding out what pesto is.

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