(Last Updated On: March 9, 2022)

What is Tempeh?

If you’ve asked yourself,  “What is Tempeh?”, you’re not alone. Tempeh is an excellent meat alternative to add to your diet, so you should definitely learn about it. Tempeh packs a nutritional punch and is in fat with zero cholesterol. Watch our video to learn more about it!

Frequently Asked Questions

How is tempeh made?
Tempeh is made by slightly fermenting soybeans and pressing the mixture into firm, dense blocks. Since tempeh is a whole soybean product, the fermentation allows this food to have a higher nutrient content than other more processed soy products.

Is tempeh the same thing as tofu?
Nope! While both made from soybeans, tempeh is has a completely different taste, consistency, and nutritional content than tofu. Tempeh is a less processed, with a dense, crunchy, nutty flavor. Tofu is a more processed soy product and has more of a spongy, gelatin consistency. Both are delicious in their own way and serve as excellent sources to add to your diet.

Where did tempeh originate?
Tempeh originated in Indonesia around 1815. In a tofu factory on the island of Java, tempeh was said to be accidentally discovered from discarded soybeans sitting out too long.

Where can I find tempeh in my grocery store?
Tempeh isn’t as easy to find as tofu. In major cities within the United States, you can typically find tempeh in the refrigerated food section where they keep the tofu. I have also found it at many Indian or Indonesian markets. We recommend asking the grocery store attendant where to find the tofu and seeing where they lead you. Tempeh typically comes in a vacuum sealed plastic wrapper.

How do I cook tempeh?
Tempeh is very easy to cook. Remove the tempeh from the plastic wrapping, and slice into strips. For stovetop cooking, add a little olive oil, some fresh garlic, and cook tempeh strips on both sides until golden brown. We encourage you to experiment with a variety of spices and sauces to match the taste of your overall meal. Below are recipes to help you use it in other dishes.



Filling Vegan Burrito

If you’re looking for a hearty vegan meal to keep you full, check out this Veggie Campus original recipe. Packed with protein and nutrients, this Filling Vegan Burrito is filling, delicious and packed with essential nutrients.

Marinated Peanut Tempeh by Minimalist Baker

One of the first tempeh recipes we ever tried and still an all-time favorite! If you don’t have a ton of time (or don’t have an oven anymore, like us), there are many quick variations from this recipe that you can alter.

Orange Glazed Tempeh by The Yummy Plant

Here’s a highly recommended glazed tempeh from The Yummy Plant. This recipe is great to use in an Asian stirfry, or throw on top of a salad. Fresh, crisp, citrus flavor!