Tempeh is appreciated all over the world.

Tempeh, a fermented food made from soybeans and other ingredients, originated in Indonesia. Although it is still not commonly stocked at many grocery stores, in recent years increasing demand has brought it to more and more frozen food aisles.

Tasty, but healthy, too

The polyphenols and isoflavones contained in soybeans have antioxidant effects, making them a strong ally for persons who wish to slow the effects of aging. Thanks to tempeh fungus fermentation, the ratio and absorption rate of many other nutrients is increased. Thus, tempeh is both rich in protein, vitamins and fiber and very effective for maintaining good health. It has no cholesterol, but its antibacterial properties are being shown to help prevent and to improve lifestyle-related and other diseases.

Is it like Natto?

Natto, a Japanese fermented soybean food, differs from tempeh in that it is cultured by fermenting soybeans with the bacteria, Bacillus subtilis. Tempeh is fermented by a fungus called Rhizopus oligosporus which produces less odor and bitterness than natto’s bacteria. Tempeh’s meat-like texture comes from its beans adhering in a block shape. Natto beans do not stick together as firmly. In Indonesia, where many people do not eat meat for religious reasons, tempeh is a popular meat alternative.


Because it has little odor and bitterness and is compatible with oil, tempeh can be used in all kinds of Japanese, Western and Chinese dishes. You can enjoy tempeh with any cooking method: boiling, grilling, or deep-frying. It is also eaten as a snack.