National Tempeh Day: a celebration of the humble yet nutrient-rich Indonesian delicacy

Jessica Halim from held a workshop on tempe-making using a range of beans, nuts, grains. Tuesday, 6 June 2023 (nsh)

Jakarta – Indonesia remembers June 6th as National Tempeh Day. The time-honored culinary gem has been savoured for centuries, particularly in Java. In Indonesia, soybean-based tempeh has gained significant popularity, although it can be made from other types of nuts and beans.

At its core, tempeh is a fermented food created by inoculating grains with the Rhizopus Oligosporus fungus. This fermentation process enhances and preserves the nutritional value of the raw materials while simultaneously creating a softer texture, making it more palatable.

Aside from soybeans, alternative legumes like kidney beans, black soybeans and red beans can also be used to make tempeh. Other than beans, tempeh can also be made from peanuts, almonds, other types of nuts and grains.

The mold present in tempeh produces enzymes such as protease, lipase, and amylase, which aid in breaking down proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates into simpler compounds.

A remarkable aspect of tempeh is that it is the only plant-based source of vitamin B12, a nutrient typically associated with animal products, a Ministry of Health blog cited.

A plant-based diet offers numerous benefits for both individuals and the planet. By focusing on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, a plant-based diet is typically rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and fiber while being lower in saturated fats and cholesterol.

The adoption of a plant-based diet is a powerful step towards mitigating climate change. By shifting towards a plant-based diet, individuals can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable land use. (nsh)

Banner photo: Tempeh can be made with other types of beans, nuts and grains. (nsh)

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