What is tempeh and why this ingredient should be part of your diet
The meat alternative is high in protein and low in carbs
Mar 8, 2019
No, it’s not a cloyingly sweet nougat studded with whole nuts. It isn’t a fluffy rice cake or a bar of white chocolate either. Tempeh is none of these things but holds just as much promise of satisfaction.
Tempeh originates from Indonesia, a country that readily offers non-meat options to its citizens. Yes, tempeh is a good meat alternative that’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly. It’s made out of soybeans that’s fermented and cultured with the help of a fungus. It is then pressed into a compact cake, wrapped in banana leaves, and sold in markets.
A block of tempeh is a nutritious powerhouse. It’s a great source of protein, proving that it could easily replace beef or chicken in one’s diet. It’s high in fiber and vitamins and is low in carbohydrates and sodium. Tempeh is also a good dairy-free source of calcium, especially for lactose-intolerant individuals. The process of fermentation it goes through makes tempeh a good source of probiotics as well. This easily means better digestion. Consuming tempeh also makes one feel full longer and even reduces hunger. Plus, it doesn’t spoil easily even if left out in the open for an extended period.
Tempeh is not tofu. Neither is it similar to mushrooms or any other vegetable. Its texture is firm, dense, and slightly dry. It can be chewy and hearty at the same time. Tastewise, tempeh offers an earthy, meaty, and nutty flavor profile.
In Indonesian households, tempeh is typically sliced, soaked in sauce, and fried. Tempeh’s sponge-like characteristic allows it to absorb marinades and flavorings easily. It can be tossed in barbecue sauce, then baked or marinated in a creamy peanut mixture and grilled like satay. Other cooking methods for tempeh include steaming, stewing, and stir-frying. It can also be added to soups, salads, and pasta sauces, or turned into burgers, wraps, and sandwiches. Vegetarians can turn to tempeh to satisfy cravings for bacon or tacos since it can easily take the place of ground beef.
Tempeh is now locally available at various sources, including:
- Ferin Krisminanto (mobile no.: 0915-4722992, 0916 739 3967) at P150/400 grams
- The Super Food Grocer (www.thesuperfoodgrocer.com) at P170/360 grams
- The Green Grocer (thegreengrocermanila.com) at P224/350 grams
- And soon at the Good Food Sundays Market at Mandala Park, Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City
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