What Is Tempeh? All About This Hearty Plant Protein

Looking for a new way to perk up your meat-free meals? Tempeh is a plant-based protein made from fermented soybeans that’s easy to find, easy to cook, and well-worth a spot on your weekly shopping list. Nutritious, flavorful, and versatile, tempeh is on a steady rise in popularity, giving tofu a run for its money. Plus it’s vegetarian (vegan, actually!) and gluten-free, meaning just about anyone can fall in love with it.

What Is Tempeh

Tempeh is made by cooking, hulling, and fermenting dried soybeans with a yeast starter—similar to sourdough starter but made with rice flour instead of wheat. The resulting mixture is drained and compressed into slabs that are typically sliced, cubed, or crumbled. What may appear to be white mold on the outside of tempeh actually is white mold: remnants of the fermentation (like the rind on Brie), and a natural, harmless, flavorless part of the process. Thanks, helpful white mold!