How to Make Your Own Tempeh


7/26/20234 min read

How to Make Your Own Tempeh Patties at Home

barbecue and sliced lemon fruit
barbecue and sliced lemon fruit


  • 2-2.5 cups of good quality organic soybeans or Chickpea, pinto or other legumes you love.

  • Fresh fresh filtered water or Vegetable Stock

  • 4 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Tempeh Starter

  • Plastic container with breathable lid or plastic wrap with holes punched in the top of the bag, or banana leaves to wrap tempeh patties/bricks

  • Cook finished tempeh with seasoning of your choice, as you would any other vegetables. I like to pan fry my tempeh with some olive oil and garlic/pepper/salt and sometimes some paprika.


Put the soybeans in a large pot.

Fill the pot with good clean filtered water, to just an inch or two above the soybeans.

Soak the soybeans overnight.

After soaking the soybeans, use clean hands to stir the soybeans in the water.

Rub and squeeze the beans as you stir to de-hull the soybeans. The hulls or skins of the soybeans should slide off quite easily.

The hulls/skins of the beans will float to the top of the water. It is ok if some of the hulls are left on the beans.(You can skip this step and leave the hulls on. It will still work with the hulls/skins on the beans).

After most of the beans are de-hulled and the skins are floating in the water, use a small sifter spoon to skim the hulls/skins out of the water.

After the hulls are removed from the water, use the sifter to pour the water out and catch the freshly soaked soybeans.

Rinse the beans with fresh water a couple of times.

Fill the pot of soybeans with fresh water, about an inch about the beans.

Cover and cook on low to medium heat.

Check on the beans frequently, to be sure the water is not bubbling out.

Stir frequently, and allow some of the steam to escape as they cook.

Check on the beans and stir frequently, then let them cook for 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Soybean cook time varies depending on the amount of water, how long the beans were soaked prior to cooking and how hot the temperature is on the cooktop.

Cook the soybeans until they are almost done. Cook them until they are soft, but not too soft or smushy.

Next, add your apple cider vinegar towards the end of the cooking, just before the soybeans turn soft and mushy.

Cook the soybeans until you get a texture and softness that you would normally eat the beans. Some people like them a bit firmer with a bit of a bite to them. And, some others like their beans soft and creamy. Give your beans a taste to cook them to the perfect texture that you desire.

When you reach the desired texture for your beans, drain the water and put the pot back on the stovetop. Allow the heat from the stovetop to help the remaining moisture evaporate.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the beans to cool to about 90 degrees F.

Next, add in your tempeh starter. You may purchase your starter from a health food store or online. I got my tempeh starter (here link). Mix in the starter well to coat all of the beans.

After the starter is mixed well to cover all the beans, you may use a plastic container with a breathable lid or a plastic zip bag. Make sure to poke several holes in the plastic lid or the plastic bag so that the fermenting starter and beans breath and grow.

If you prefer to be environmentally friendly, you may use banana leaves to wrap your portioned tempeh. The banana leaves do not need to be perforated, they are porous, allowing air in and out.

Shape the beans and starter you have prepared into small rectangle cakes inside your plastic bag or in the center of your banana leaves. For the banana leaves, place your shaped portion in the center, fold the banana leaves over and put a few toothpicks in to hold the leaf wrap in place.

Now, you may place your wrapped tempeh in an incubator on low or you may put your prepared soybean starter cakes in a covered box and place in a warm location of your house. Some people put their tempeh cakes in a dish in the oven with the light on, without the heat on…just leave the light on. This will create enough warmth in the oven to allow the tempeh to grow.

Leave your tempeh in a warm spot to grow for 36-48 hours.

Once you check and see the white mold/tempeh has grown and created a brick with your cooked beans inside, unwrap your tempeh.

Your tempeh can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

You may like to use seasoned water or vegetable stock to cook your soybeans in to add more flavor.

Also, you can use all kinds of other beans and legumes to make different types of tempeh to suit your taste.

If you are allergic to soybeans you may use other beans or chickpeas to custom design your tempeh for your diet.

It is important to remember that your tempeh must be cooked before you eat it.

Simply remove your tempeh cake/brick from the bag or banana leaf, slice one quarter to half inch thick slices and cook as desired.

You may boil it, steam it, bake it with other foods or pan fry the slices in a bit of oil with your favorite seasonings and other veggies.

Related Stories