Homemade Tempeh

5.0 from 19 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins

Serves: ~ 450 gram (~ 1 lb.)



  1. Soak the soybeans: Wash and rinse dry soybeans and place in a large mixing bowl. Top with enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Leave the beans to soak in the cold water for 12 hours.
  2. Dehull the soybeans: Use hands to knead and massage the beans to dehull the skins, swirl the water so the skins float to the top, carefully tip the bowl to discard the skins (along with some water). Top with more cold water and repeat the dehulling process several times.
    NOTE: This can take a lot of time, but I usually set a timer and call it done after 30 minutes.
  3. Boil the soybeans: Transfer the dehulled soybeans to a stock pot. Top with cold water by about 4 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
    NOTE: Just before the water boils, you may notice all the remaining skins float to the top, use a skimmer to remove these.
  4. Dry the soybeans: Lay a kitchen towel over a baking pan. Drain the boiled soybeans using a colander, then transfer the drained soybeans to the prepared baking pan. Pat dry with the kitchen towel and set aside to cool to below body temperature.
    NOTE: Try to pat the beans as dry as possible since the risk of failure increases if the beans are not dry to touch before your proceed with the rest of the steps.
  5. Add vinegar: Transfer the soybeans into a clean and dry mixing bowl. Add the vinegar and mix well.
  6. Add tempeh starter: Add tempeh starter to the beans and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a ziplock: Transfer the beans to a ziplock bag and fold the bag so that the thickness is about 1 inch.
  8. Prick holes: Use a toothpick or a skewer and poke the bag all over to create holes. A 1-inch interval holes should be plenty. This will allow the starter to breath.
  9. Culture for 24 hours: If you use a proofer like me, set the proofer temperature to 31 Celsius (88 Fahrenheit), and place the bag of beans into the proofer. After 24 hours, it should have turned into a solid mass of tempeh where the beans are held together by white spores.
    NOTE: If it hasn't turned into a solid mass after 24 hours, let it culture for another 12 hours and up to another 24 hours.


  • (*) Some people culture the tempeh in an unheated oven with the oven lamp turned on. You are free to try, but grab an oven thermometer to verify that it is indeed 31 Celsius (88 Fahrenheit). Or at the very least 26 Celsius (78 Fahrenheit), in which case be ready to culture your tempeh for 36-48 hours.
  • TIME: My stupid recipe card only has prep time and cook time. The more correct time is this: (1) 12 hours to soak the beans, (2) 30 minutes to dehull, (3) 40 minutes to boil, (4) 30 minutes to dry, mix vinegar and starter, and bag the bean, (5) 24 hours to culture, and possibly up to 48 hours. Your total time will be about 38 hours (24 hours culture) to 62 hours (48 hours culture).

Another great recipe by https://dailycookingquest.com.