Jumat, 08 Februari 2013

How To Make Homemade Tempe

Tempeh, or tempe in Javanese, is an inovative creation food of Javanese people that made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. It is especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. Like tofu, tempe is made from soybeans, but tempe is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities.
Tempe's fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fibre and vitamins. Tempe is very nutritive and contains many health ingredients. It has many health benefits such as strengthen bones, help to ease menopause symptoms, reduce risk of coronary hearth disease and some cancers. Soya has actually been shown to contain nutrients that have a positive effect on both cholesterol and the potential cancer creating toxins in our bodies. Tempe maintains all the fibre of the beans and gains some digestive benefits from the enzymes created during the fermentation process.
Because of its nutritional value, tempe is used worldwide in vegetarian cuisine; some consider it to be a meat analogue. Even long before Westerners found and realized its rich nutritional value, tempe was referred to as “Javanese meat.”
The problem if you live abroad like me is the lack of people selling it. And the only way to have Tempe in your dining table is by making it by yourself.
Making tempe is easy, but there are some issues that could make your effort failure, especially if you live in 4 seasons country. The basic problems are such as the unstable temperature, cleanness, wrong measurement of tempe starter (ragi tempe).Fortunately after few times trial and error, now I always success make Tempe.
Here I explain step by step how to make tempe from 100% soy.
The three important parameters in making Tempe are: 

1. moist or water content
2. Tempe starter (ragi tempe) or inoculum Tempe
3. Incubating temperatures

The moist or water content of substrate

Practically all seeds such as rice, beans, peas, oat, and others can be made Tempe. Each gives a different taste. Each takes a different period of time in boiling to get ready for inoculation. Soybeans, the main and most common stuff for Tempe takes 45 to 60 minutes, but most peas take fifteen to twenty minutes. After dehulling, soybeans need five to ten minutes of second boiling before being drained and spread drying on towels. Additional nuking and blowing are sometimes necessary. The difficult task is to gauge the dryness of the substrate. Too dry means slow or no growth of mycelium; too wet, however, results in myceliolysis and rotting Tempe. Fortunately, the margin of safety is wide enough.

Tempe starter (ragi tempe) or Inoculum Tempe

Using too much and insufficient amount of starter result in myceliolysis or rotting Tempe. The safest way is just following the recommendation of the makers of the starter. Using home made starter needs lots patience in trial and error.

Incubating temperatures

For the first ten hours, incubating at 31 to 33 C or 88 to 91 F is safe. For the next six hours, temperatures around 28 C or 82 F are good. As soon as the substrate starts generating its own heat (the temperature inside the incubator begins to rise) or some condensation starts, the heating source should be removed. Rhizopus keeps on growing at temperatures below 20 C or 64 F, but it grows at slower pace.  Generally, Tempe matures in 24 to 30 hours.

The speed of fermentation is determined by incubation temperature. Incubation temperatures above 40 degrees C and above 25 degrees C will not produce good Tempe. A temperature of 37 - 38 degrees C will produce Tempe within 22h; a temperature of 28-30 degrees C will take up to 48 h to produce Tempe.

Here are the steps to make homemade Tempe. Good luck! :
Ingredients: 500 g whole dry soybeans and 1/4 teaspoon Tempeh Starter (ragi tempe)
Step 1: Cleaning and Soaking Soybeans
Clean the soybeans with clean water. Then soak the soybeans in water for 8 hours or over the night.
Tempe Step 1   
Step 2: Cracking the soybeans
After 8 hours or over the night, time to separate the soybeans from its skin. If you use whole soybeans you should split them by squeezing them with a kneading motion. Stir gently causing the hulls to rise to the surface, and then pour off water and hulls into a strainer. Add fresh water and repeat until most hulls are removed. Don't worry if a few hulls remain attached.

Tempe Step 2    Tempe Step 2    Tempe Step 2
Step 3: Cooking the soybeans

Put the beans in a cooking pot with water over the soybeans and cook for 30 min. When it's cooking and foam gather, remove it with clean ladle.
Tempe Step 3    Tempe Step 3    Tempe Step 3
Step 4: Drying the Soybeans

After 30 minutes, drain off the water and dry the soybeans by continue heating them in the pot on medium heat for a few minutes and until the beans are dry. Allow the soybeans to cool down to below 35°C.
Tempe Step 4 
Step 5: Cooling off the soybeans

Move the dry beans into some wide place (ex. tray pan for baking) to cool off, leave it for sometime. During this process, avoid touching the beans with hands, use clean tool instead.

tempe Step 5

Step 6: Inoculating the soybeans with Tempe starter
When the soybeans is already dry and cold (but not too cold, is better), sprinkle it with 1/4 teaspoon of Tempe starter. Mix with a clean spoon for about 1 minute to distribute the Tempe starter evenly. It's very important to mix the Tempe starter very well: it reduces the risk for spoilage and the fermentation will be faster.

Tempe Step 6

Step 7: Incubating the beans

Take 3 plastic bags (I use plastic bag size 18 X 25 cm with sealed).Divide the soybeans in the two bags and seal them. Press them flat, making sure that the total thickness of the beans is max 3 cm. Then perforate them with holes at a distance of about 1 cm by using a clean satay skewer or a thick but sharp needle. A normal needle is too thin, you need a fat needle or small nail (about 0.6 mm in diameter).This will allow the mould to breathe.
tempe Step 7   Tempe Step 7
Step 8: Storing the beans
Place the packed beans in an incubator at 30°C or at a warm place for about 36-48 hours which the Tempe fermentation takes place. I put them on the top of oven tray then store them on the top of my kitchen cupboard. The temperature in the house is about 28 C so I have to wrap the beans using a clean napkin/towel to make them warmer.Best temperature for Tempe is around 30 C. 

Tempe Step 8
Step 9: Tempe is ready

After 36 hours the container should be filled completely with white mycelium and the entire contents can be lifted out as a whole piece. Now you can cook your Tempe for some delicious dishes...
Tempe step 9    tempe step 9
Step 10: cook the Tempe
Tempe can be cooked in different ways. Simple way to enjoy it just marinates with salt and garlic then fried it.
tempe step 10

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