Let's discover it

Tempeh, a food to be discovered

If you don’t know tempeh, you should try this vegetable substitute for meat which is becoming increasingly popular! Its unique taste and nutritional profile make it a food that you must discover.

Tempeh is made out of soybeans, which belong to the large family of legumes like chickpeas and lentils. In Quebec (Canada), whether to prepare tofu or tempeh, yellow soybeans are used, which are not GMOs (genetically modified organisms). The whole soybeans are cooked and crushed before being inoculated with a fungus (Rhizopus oligosporus). It is therefore a fermented product: a plus for your intestinal health! During the fermentation process, which is carried out in a controlled environment, molds form, similar to those found on certain cheeses. These molds are the ones that give tempeh its whitish color and its unique taste.

Tempeh has a complex umami flavor with mushroom and nutty aromas.

If you want to reduce its characteristic taste, you can marinate it before cooking it or try a flavored tempeh.

From a nutritional point of view, tempeh is particularly interesting. It is a product derived from soy, one of the few vegetable proteins with a high biological value, i.e. containing all the essential amino acids, as is the case for meat and rarely for other vegetable protein sources. Compared to tofu, tempeh contains up to 20% more protein. In addition, its fermentation process makes the assimilation of proteins easier, and it increases the concentration and bioavailability of vitamins and minerals.

Since the soybean is used as a whole grain to make tempeh, the latter also contains a good amount of fibre, whereas tofu does not contain any. It also contains good fats and phytochemicals, such as phytosterols, which are known to have heart health benefits.

Tempeh has much more texture than tofu (made from curdled and pressed soybeans). It is both firm under the fork and tender under the tooth. It is therefore a very interesting product to substitute meat.

Tempeh should always be cooked before eating. You can sauté it in cubes, grill it in slices in a pan or on the barbecue, or steam a block and grind it.

It is a very versatile and tasty ingredient that can be eaten hot or cold in savory dishes (pasta sauce, chili, tacos, shepherd’s pie, dumplings, hamburger patties, etc.) or sweet and sour (it is delicious with maple syrup or pineapple!).

Some tips to easily add tempeh to the menu:

1. Whether already cooked, natural or marinated and seasoned tempeh, keep it in the refrigerator for sandwiches, wraps, lunch salads or protein-filled vegetable stir-fries.
2. To garnish your salads, prepare tempeh “croutons”: grill marinated tempeh cubes (e.g. Tempéhine Spring Pleasure flavor) for a few minutes in a lightly oiled pan, then remove from the heat and coat them with garlic powder.
3. To prepare tasty sandwiches, mix coarsely chopped cooked tempeh (e.g. Tempéhine Spring Pleasure flavor) with mayonnaise (vegan, if you wish), dried cranberries and nuts or sunflower seeds.
4. Everyone loves skewers and it’s perfect for the lunchbox! On skewers, alternate pre-cooked marinated tempeh cubes (e.g. Tempéhine Caribbean flavor) with cucumber slices, peppers and pineapple pieces.

Both for its unique taste and its nutritional profile, tempeh really deserves a place on the menu!

You may also like
5 ways to cook tempeh
5 health benefits of tempeh

Leave a Reply