Introduction: Quinoa Tempeh

Picture of Quinoa Tempeh

Tempeh is a wonder food. It was used in the past to ensure populations were getting their necessary protein. The micro organism that turns grain into tempeh essentially pre-digests the protein, making it easier to digest when we eat it. We have been experimenting with making tempeh out of all sorts of grain, but our favourite is quinoa because it has a nice nutty flavour and is high in protein. You can purchase the tempeh starter from many places online like Top Cultures.

Step 1: Click Play and Be Inspired...

Here are the ingredients you require:

One TetraPak style carton

1 cup/200g of Quinoa (UK grown now available)

2 cups/475ml of water

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

½ tsp tempeh starter

Aluminium foil

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The actual process of turning 200g of Quinoa into tempeh takes place in a warm environment (30 degrees c) like an airing cupboard over a 48 hour period.

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For detailed written instructions click through the steps at the foot of this text. Below is a brief summary of the instructions:

  • Cut a Tetra Pak carton in half
  • Rinse 1 cup/200g of quinoa and place it in a sauce pan
  • Add 2 cups/475ml of water into the pan
  • Simmer for 10 minutes to part cook the grain
  • After 10 minutes of simmering drain the water
  • Add 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar and stir through the quinoa
  • Tip the quinoa out onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool thoroughly
  • Use the tea towel to remove any excess water from the quinoa
  • Place the quinoa in a bowl
  • Stir in ½ teaspoon of tempeh starter
  • Spoon the quinoa into the two halves of your Tetra Pak carton
  • Place on a tray or a plate and loosely cover the cartons with aluminium foil
  • Place in an airing cupboard or a warm, dark place for 48 hours
  • After 24 hours you should start to see small fibres starting to form, which will look like white fluff
  • After 48 hours the entire quinoa should be covered in thick white fluff, often contain grey areas
  • Take out of the cartons and place on a chopping board
  • With a sharp knife prepare for cooking by trimming off the outer fluff
  • Cut into cubes that suit the dish you plan to use the tempeh in

Step 2: Part Cook the Quinoa

Picture of Part Cook the Quinoa

Cut a Tetra Pak carton in half

Rinse 1 cup/200g of quinoa and place it in a sauce pan

Add 2 cups/475ml of water into the pan Simmer for 10 minutes to part cook the grain

Step 3: Prepare Quinoa for Starter

Picture of Prepare Quinoa for Starter

After 10 minutes of simmering drain the water

Add 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar and stir through the quinoa

Tip the quinoa out onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool thoroughly

Use the tea towel to remove any excess water from the quinoa

Place the quinoa in a bowl

Step 4: Add Starter and Place Into Trays

Picture of Add Starter and Place Into Trays

Stir in ½ teaspoon of tempeh starter

Spoon the quinoa into the two halves of your Tetra Pak carton

Place on a tray or a plate and loosely cover the cartons with aluminium foil

Step 5: The Waiting Game

Picture of The Waiting Game

Place in an airing cupboard or a warm, dark place for 48 hours

A slightly humid environment which is roughly 27 - 31 degrees c is ideal

After 24 hours you should start to see small fibres starting to form, which will look like white fluff

After 24 hours you will notice that the tempeh is generating it's own heat and should be warm to the touch

After 48 hours the entire quinoa should be covered in thick white fluff, often contain grey areas

Another good thing to note is that the tempeh should smell really nice, quite floral maybe

If it smells bad or rotten then something isn't quite right. The quinoa may have been too wet when it was placed into the cartons

Step 6: Trim and Cook

Picture of Trim and Cook

Take out of the cartons and place on a chopping board

With a sharp knife prepare for cooking by trimming off the outer fluff

Cut into cubes that suit the dish you plan to use the tempeh in

Tempeh can now either be stored in a fridge or freezer, or cooked with

Tempeh is very absorbent and so picks up flavours really well

One thing it's worth noting, don't introduce large amounts of tempeh into your diet in a short period of time. It will make your stomach quite gassy, because you're introducing new micro organisms into your gut. These new micro organisms will improve your digestion but it's best to increase the tempeh intake slowly.

Comments

seamster (author)2015-05-21

Very interesting, I've never heard of this before. Thank you!

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