Growing up in Indonesia, I consumed tempeh almost daily. Needless to say it is almost like a staple food for the Indonesians.
Moving to Canada, only on my 3rd year that I found tempeh, sold seasoned and frozen and IMHO, soggy defrosted tempeh is not so appetizing no matter how good the flavor it has, but a man gotta eat right? Ha-ha
On my 8th year in Canada, I was gifted a bag of tempeh yeast, super excited to try....and disappointed. I studied online a lot before making tempeh and it did not work....twice I must say, so I gave up and returned to frozen seasoned tempeh.
Recently I was given a bag of yeast, same brand, from different friend though and thought to myself that it is just embarrassing that I cannot make tempeh when all these available frozen tempeh are not even made by Indonesian, and tempeh is originally from Indonesia!
So I tried with fingers crossed, legs crossed, hair crossed, along with everything else!, and succeeded, four times so far I should add. The conclusion? I think my previous trials years ago was due to bad yeast (maybe expired hahaha)? most likely!
Step 1: Materials
I made these tempeh, four days in a row, various beans! The first day was a huge success that I dared to give it a go with other type of beans. As you may aware, tempeh majorly use soy beans. However during my learning online, I saw there are various tempeh with various beans, so I tried with what I have in the cupboard.
First day was: 1 kg split mung beans
Second day was: 1 kg white beans
Third day was: 1 kg red beans
Fourth day was: 1 kg green split peas
For every 1 kg beans, you will need about 2 grams of yeast
If your beans are still with their skins, soak them in cold water for 12 H or overnight, adding more water if needed throughout the time.
Step 2: Peeling the Skins
Once your beans are soaked for 12 H, drain and rinse them. Squeeze beans between fingers, the skins would peel easily. Separate skins from beans and rinse again
For beans without skin such as the green split peas and mung beans, go ahead proceed to the next step
Step 3: Boiling the Beans
For beans without skin, I did not soak them for 12 H, but only for 6 H, enough for them to expand in size.
Drain and rinse and place them into a pot
Fill the pot with enough water and bring to boil
Once boiling, lower heat to medium and let simmer for 30 minutes (per tutorials online almost every where! However, for my mung beans, I only boiled them for 20 minutes and for the green split peas as well).
You will see that they will produce foam, it's natural and no need to skim them off, but stir the pot once awhile.
For beans that were with skin, I do boil them for 25-30 minutes (white beans and red beans)
Step 4: Packing the Beans
Once your beans are boiled, drain and place them on a long sheet and air dry them (I use electric fan btw!)
Then sprinkle the yeast, stir beans so yeast would cover all beans and pack them into ziplock bags
Punch holes all over so yeast can breath
Line your baking pan with clean towel (I use my instructables aprons haha), place packed beans and wrap it with the towel
Once wrapped, place baking pan in oven with light on and ferment beans for at least 22 H
(NOTE: my green split peas took 36 H, longer than the rest of the beans though)
Step 5: Your Tempeh Is Ready!
After 22 H, when it's a success, you will have beans cake, firm with white spores all over.
On the picture, for my green split peas, photo was taken before tempeh was fully fermented (36 H); it was still fermenting, I was just impatient to take a snap :)
Tempeh is ready to be seasoned and used for frying, burger, etc.