What is tempeh?
The wonderful Alex Beet from Beet the System has provided me with a piece of his amazing tempeh. Tempeh is great, it’s an Indonesian staple of fermented soy. The soya beans undergo a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process which binds theminto a kind of cake. This is nothing like a sponge cake, very savoury with an earthy flavour.
It is possible to get commercially made tempeh, which I do use regularly, for those in the region it is available in Indigo, Moseley. There’s even a tempeh bacon product which I have tried but I’m not over keen. I have had tempeh bacon in veggie cafes and it is fine for a breaky scoff, but for a nice dinner the real stuff is better.
Apparently, Beet the System tempeh is cultured in stainless steel as opposed to plastic, which could make a significant difference in the taste, as the heating takes the temperature up to 92F. I was quite excited to try some of this, although I have had it at the Wagon and Horses and the West Midlands Vegan Festival. There’s nothing like trying your own cooking though! Alex suggested marinating it but I wanted to try some without marinating as well. So now follows the review!
Reviewing Beet the System Tempeh
Beet the system tempeh is not frozen whereas the Impulse Foods tempeh is. Not, necessarily, too important but fresh rather than fresh frozen is always my preference. When you open the packet the smell is so much nicer than the Impulse stuff, which has a kind of ammonia smell a little like swimming baths. I’ve eaten the Impulse tempeh happily for a long time in stir-frys but I prefer this on smell alone!
I tasted a small piece without cooking it and it is nicer than the Impulse tempeh. No vaguely bitter after-taste with Beet the System.
First Beet the System Tempeh Recipe
Alex suggested marinading the tempeh but I wanted to try some without so cut the block into slices and reserved one for non-marinade cooking. The rest I cut into cubes and returned to the bag for the marinade. I was out of ginger so the marinade consisted of
- juice of one fresh squeezed orange
- juice of one lemon
- big splash of soy sauce
- big splash of tabasco
- a little sea salt
- teaspoon of turmeric
- a little black pepper
This made up most of the tempeh and is now in the fridge soaking up flavours. The rest I cooked as follows
- coconut oil for frying (something else will do)
- three tiny peppers halved(aldi salad peppers)
- two mushrooms
- one tomato sliced
- thinly sliced tempeh
- cooked quinoa with quarter of a stock cube
- sea salt
- soy sauce
- juice of a tangerine
I fried the tempeh so it was crispy adding the veggie ingredients halfway through. Then added the liquids and flavours and cooked quickly. Then served it with the qunioa. Gorgeous, stunning!
The tempeh is all smokey, without being smokey! If that makes sense. The frying makes it crispy, which is nice, but really brings out the flavour and the lack of after taste is fab. Also the texture is nicer than the Impulse stuff, which can be a bit flakey. I’m a fan and already looking forward to the marinaded tempeh dinner to come! Watch this space for that recipe!