Pronounced ‘tempe’ is a traditional Indonesian food product, that is usually made from fermented soybeans (plant-based); but any whole bean (i.e., red kidney, white beans [chowli], chickpeas [chole], black beans, kala chana; any beans really) can be used. The process involves using a fungus (a good one) sold as tempeh starter. It has this firm and earthy and nutty flavour, and is excellent for vegetarians who desire a texture which is more hardy; great for burgers, patties, add to salad, and tacos or a roti roll; for additional protein component. I discovered it, when I was studying my Macrobiotic education; the kitchen often made us tempeh burgers, and they were divine. 

For vegans it becomes and additional source of B12 (as it’s a fermented food product), and for vegetarians and vegans both; it’s great for that additional protein that one needs. I find that because I have a tough fitness regime, and desire robustness in my foods, tempeh becomes a great option for me, when I want to get the additional satisfaction out of my meal. 

Just 85 grams gets you very far in nutrients that it provides, by adding the following: 

  1. 15 grams of protein to your meal
  2. 160 calories only
  3. 9 grams of fat
  4. 9 grams of carbohydrates 

Fermentation increases the bio-availability (basically this means how the body is to assimilate the nutrients, will increase) of all nutrients. 

Benefits of Tempeh 

  1. High on fiber and Vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium, zinc, manganese, folate, pantothenic acid.
  2. Especially HIGH on then PROTEIN quotient (3 ounces=15grams, that’s a lot!!).
  3. Plus, it is an anti-inflammatory food (prevents oxidative damage, great on an anti-inflammation diet). It has a high antioxidant profile.
  4. It has peptides (smaller parts of protein). Some peptides are ACE inhibitors = Angiotensin-converting-enzyme; which makes it easier to regulate blood pressure.
  5. Soy isoflavones in tempeh will positively affect heart-health.
  6. Will help you lose weight – as its higher on protein quotient, will give you similar results like what non-vegetarian protein will do in a weight loss program.
  7. Fermented foods, are rich in prebiotic bacteria, this is something that tempeh has, and is excellent for your gut health. An excellent choice for those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), as it is pre-digested, due to being fermented.
  8. It’s great for your bones, as it’s is rich in calcium, manganese, copper, phosphorus – all really necessary for strong bones.
  9. It has no cholesterol.
  10. It will also improve insulin resistance. 

How to use Tempeh 

  1. Burgers (in the shape of a patty).
  2. Shepherd’s Pie.
  3. Cut into cubes, pan fry and use in salad.
  4. In Indian cuisine, it can be substituted and be used instead of paneer in dishes like palak (spinach) paneer or in a gravy with peas or other vegetables.
  5. You can shred it after sauteing it and use it in tacos or tortillas.
  6. Stuff red peppers with a scrambled tempeh and vegetables.
  7. Make a scrambled tempeh (instead of eggs). 


  1. Women with thyroid (hypo or hyper) can consume it, As the energy of the beans change making it more nutrient-rich.
  2. Don’t eat if you are histamine intolerant.
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