We're head-over-heels for becultured tempeh. here's why... and how to cook it!
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is a plant-based protein that is used in many vegetarian and vegan dishes. It's a traditional Indonesian soy-based product, made from fermented soybeans.
A natural culturing and controlled fermentation process binds soybeans into a cake form.
Most tempeh you find in the grocery store is pasteurized. Fresh tempeh, made by a local purveyor, is more likely to be a living product, offering a number of taste and health benefits.
At della bowls, we stray away from soy-based proteins, striving to offer more variety in plant-based proteins than what's typically offered in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. This is one reason we love BeCultured.
BeCultured Tempeh is different and special
BeCultured Tempeh is the only locally-made tempeh produced in South Florida, made fresh by owner/founder Rohan Templeman. It is organic, unpasteurized, fresh, and the highest quality available.
Rather than following tradition and using soy as the main ingredient, Rohan makes his tempeh from a variety of interesting beans, including adzuki, black-eyed-peas, yellow lentils, green lentils, black beans, and others. Each bean variety offers a distinctive flavor and texture, but each one is as delicious as the next.
You'll find black-eyed pea tempeh on the menu at della bowls, whether it's in the forbidden favorite bowl, as an add-on, or as a protein option in the BYOB.
When you taste sauteed BeCultured Tempeh, you'll experience a meaty, savory, perfectly-rounded flavor in your mouth. It's a fermented product, so it has hints of mushroom, meat, nutty and earthy notes, all in one bite!
Contrary to previous beliefs that the tongue can only taste four tastes (sour, sweet, salty, and bitter), there is a 5th taste called "Umami."
"Umami, which is Japanese for "pleasant savory taste" or simply "yummy," was pinpointed by Japanese chemist and food lover Kikunae Ikeda in the 1900s. Ikeda noticed when eating a bowl of dashi (seaweed soup) that he was tasting something delicious that could not be described by one of the four taste categories." (Huffpost: What the Hell is Umami, Anyway)
BeCultured Tempeh is loved by plant-based eaters and omnivores alike, as the intense umami flavor and meaty texture of these tempeh varieties satisfy almost every type of appetite.
When the bean "cake" is cubed and sauteed, it turns a beautiful golden brown and makes for a satisfying and delicious snack or meal.
How is tempeh made?
Tempeh is a highly nutritious, cultured plant-based protein. This living protein has been providing vital sustenance throughout the world for centuries.
It is made by inoculating beans with a type of mycelium (Rhizopus Oligosporus) and then control fermented under strict conditions. This friendly fungus thrives and grows, feeding off the beans, breaking them down, binding them together and creating an extremely healthy, versatile, completely plant-based protein.
Think of it as a mushroom garden in a bed of beans.
It's made in an extremely sensitive and highly-controlled environment which Rohan is an expert in.
It's definitely a labor of love, and not something you find every day. There's a reason there are not many small, local producers of tempeh, even across the country. It's highly specialized and takes a truly special person to create it. Miami is lucky to have Rohan's talent and skill, providing us with this incredible product.
Health Benefits of Tempeh
According to the BeCultured Tempeh website:
"Besides being high in protein tempeh is also an incredible source of manganese, copper, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B2 and magnesium and because of the fermentation process these nutrients and protein are more digestible and therefore more available for the body. Along with these amazing health benefits tempeh is also extremely versatile and can be cooked as a snack or used as the main protein in a meal, prepared very basically or turned into a culinary work of art."
Where to find BeCultured Tempeh
- You can always find BeCultured Tempeh at della bowls! Order via your favorite delivery platform (UberEats, Postmates, Doordash, and Grubhub) in Miami, Aventura, and Fort Lauderdale.
- Visit della bowls at The Doral Yard when we open in January, 2020.
- Visit Rohan at one of the farmers markets where he sells tempeh, or at other restaurants that feature BeCultured. Find them all here.
- Order via Paper & Twine in Miami.
How we prepare BeCultured Tempeh at della bowls
Turmeric-Ginger Spiced Black Eyed Pea Tempeh
Be Cultured Tempeh- 8 oz
Coconut Oil- 4 T, divided
Spice mix- 1-2 T
Spice Mix: 1 T salt, 1/2 T turmeric, 1/2 T ground ginger, 1/2 T granulated garlic
Heat skillet. Add 2 T coconut oil. Then add tempeh. Let sizzle in pan to brown, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Add in remaining 2 T as the tempeh cooks, if needed.
When tempeh is cooked, sprinkle with appropriate amount of seasoning mixture, and turn to coat. Remove from heat to serve.