How To Cook Tempeh

Tempeh is a versatile and nutritious plant-based protein that is a staple in many vegetarian and vegan diets. This fermented soybean product has a firm texture with a slightly nutty and earthy taste, and it can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to stir-fries. If you’re new to cooking with tempeh, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to cook it, along with some frequently asked questions.

How to Cook Tempeh:

1. Choose your tempeh: Tempeh is sold in packages, usually in the refrigerated section of health food stores or supermarkets. Choose the type that you want, plain tempeh or tempeh with added flavors.

2. Begin the prep: Tempeh comes in a block or cake-like form, and you need to cut it into smaller pieces before cooking. Cut the block into slices, cubes, or strips depending on the recipe you’re following.

3. Marinate the tempeh: Tempeh is like a sponge, so it absorbs flavors very well. To give your tempeh more complex flavors, marinate it before cooking. You can use simple marinades like soy sauce, garlic, and ginger or go for more complex ones with spices and herbs.

4. Heating the tempeh: There are several ways to cook tempeh, including baking, boiling, frying, and grilling. Here are some tips for each cooking method:

– Baking: Preheat your oven to 375°F, and place the marinated tempeh on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through until they’re golden brown.

– Boiling: Boil a pot of water and add the cubed tempeh. Let it boil for 10 minutes before removing from the heat, and then strain the tempeh.

– Frying: Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add a few teaspoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the marinated tempeh, and fry for four to six minutes, flipping occasionally, until the pieces are browned.

– Grilling: Preheat your grill, and brush a little oil over the marinated tempeh. Grill for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally to ensure even cooking.


Q: How long can tempeh be stored?
A: Tempeh lasts for up to a week in the refrigerator, covered with a damp paper towel or cloth to prevent drying out.

Q: Is tempeh healthy?
A: Yes, tempeh is a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, and contains less fat than meat-based proteins.

Q: Is it necessary to boil the tempeh before cooking?
A: Boiling the tempeh before cooking is optional, but it helps to remove any bitterness and makes it easier to absorb the flavors.

Q: Can tempeh be eaten raw?
A: It is not recommended to eat raw tempeh due to the possibility of bacterial contamination. Cooked tempeh is safe to eat and more flavorful anyway.

Q: How can I make my tempeh crispy?
A: To make crispy tempeh, add a little cornstarch or flour to the marinade before cooking. Additionally, frying or grilling will give the tempeh a crispy texture.

Summing Up:

Tempeh is a nutritious and delicious protein alternative for vegetarians and vegans. With a simple marinade and a few basic cooking techniques, you will be able to create a tasty dish. Remember, it’s important to experiment with different marinades and cooking methods to find a recipe that suits your taste buds. Tempeh is a highly versatile ingredient, so let your imagination run wild!

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