Tempeh Starter

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  • Regular price $7.99

Tempeh Starter Culture (Rhizopus Oligosporus)

Make your own high-protein meat substitute with our Tempeh Starter Culture. An Indonesian staple, Tempeh is very versatile and can be flavored and used in many ways.

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. A fungus, Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae, is used in the fermentation process and is also known as tempeh starter.

It is especially popular on the island of Java, where it is a staple source of protein. Like tofu, tempeh is traditionally made from soybeans, but it is a whole soybean product with different nutritional characteristics and textural qualities. Tempeh's fermentation process and its retention of the whole bean give it a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It has a firm texture and an earthy flavor, which becomes more pronounced as it ages. Can be made with beans, grains, or a mix of the two.

Note: A food dehydrator is the best way to maintain the proper temperature (80° to 90° F.) while culturing your Tempeh. Use a thermometer to monitor temperature.

You will receive:

  • 2 packets Tempeh starter and instructions

You will need:

  • 6-8 quart pot for soaking, then boiling soybeans
  • large bowl
  • colander
  • thermometer
  • kitchen towel, paper towels, or hair dryer to dry beans thoroughly
  • food dehydrator ( or other means of maintaining 85° to 90° F. temp)
  • 3 quart-sized plastic zip bags that have been perforated with pin holes that are 1 inch apart
  • 2 cups dry soybeans ( other dry beans can also be used)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 packet Tempeh starter culture (save other packet in freezer for future use)


  1. The beans will need to be dehulled (outer skins removed). Soak the beans overnight or for at least 10-12 hours. Use a pot large enough to allow for the beans to nearly triple in size.
  2. Massage the beans with your hands to split & loosen the hulls from the beans. Skim off the hulls as they float to the top. Using the colander, drain off the water & rinse several more times to remove the hulls.
  3. Boil the dehulled beans for 1 hour. Drain off the cooking water.
  4. Dry the beans by patting them with a clean cloth, paper towels, or using a hair dryer on low. The beans should be dry to the touch. Put the beans in a dry bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm temperature (95° -98° F. ).
  5. Add the 2 tbsp. vinegar into beans and mix well. Sprinkle in the starter culture and mix well again. It's very important to distribute the culture throughout the beans.
  6. Pack the beans into the plastic bags & seal. The holes will allow the beans to breathe as they ferment. Press the bags firmly until flat, and an even 1 inch or so in thickness.
  7. Place the bags in a dehydrator & culture at 85°- 90° F. Sometime between 12 and 24 hours, white spores (mycelium) will spread over & throughout the beans. When this occurs, reduce the heat. The process has begun. When the beans have become a firm mass held together by the spores, the Tempeh is finished. This usually takes 36-48 hours, but can take up to 3 or 4 days.

Store your finished Tempeh in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or in the freezer for 2 months. Tempeh can be marinated & flavored however you'd like, and has endless uses.


rice, tempeh culture (rhizopus oligosporus)

gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, soy free, non-GMO