Recipe: Instant Pot Tempeh


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The Instant Pot allows you to make tempeh more easily and with fewer dishes. It's a win-win!

30 minutes

48 minutes



Tempeh Starter Culture

Tempeh & Soy Tempeh Starter Culture

Tempeh Starter Culture


Tempeh starter will help you create traditional tempeh, a plant-based probiotic protein, usually made from soy. It is similar to tofu, but many people prefer tempeh due to its probiotics and higher content of protein, fiber and vitamins.

It is a great meat alternativeand can be sliced, marinated, or seasoned as desired.

With our tempeh starter culture spores,you can make a supply of rich, nutty tempeh in the traditional Indonesian way!


  • 1 packet Tempeh Starter Culture
  • 2 cups dry soybeans
  • 2 Tbs. distilled white or pasteurized rice vinegar


  1. Pressure cook your soybeans for 18-20 minutes if you soaked them; or 35-45 minutes if not soaked. The goal is “al dente” so cook for less time unless your particular machine takes longer than normal
  2. Discard the cooking water and dry the beans (either using a towel to pat them dry or setting over low heat in the pot to evaporate the water off the beans). It is important for the beans to be dry to the touch, as too much moisture can ruin the batch.
  3. Place the beans in a dry bowl and allow the beans to cool to a lukewarm temperature (same temperature as your skin).
  4. Run the beans through a food processor until just chopped, or take a potato masher to them (not a potato ricer) to try to split the hulls.
  5. Pour the soybeans into a mixing bowl, then add the vinegar and mix well.
  6. Add the tempeh starter and mix well to evenly distribute the starter in the beans.
  7. Place the beans into a vented container or a quart-size plastic bag with needle-size holes poked through at 1/2-inch intervals). The beans should be layered 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick.
  8. Fill your Instant Pot with about 2” of water and set to “Sous Vide” at 100 degrees for 16 hours.
  9. Set the steamer in the water and then set the bag of beans on top of the steamer.
  10. Check the beans after 12 hours. Once the beans are generating their own heat, you will need to remove them from the Instant Pot and place on a cooling rack or other surface that allows airflow. Be sure to use a thermometer to check the actual temperature.Hint: you can see that this is happening by removing them from the heat source for 30 minutes and if there is little to no drop in temperature, they’re ready to be removed.
  11. After 24 hours or so, the white mycelium will start to cover the surface of the beans. Over the next few hours the white mycelium will grow through the beans and will smell nutty.
  12. After 24 to 48 hours, when the beans have become a single mass held together by the white spores, the tempeh can be refrigerated and/or consumed.

    download our lacto-fermentation guide and recipe book

Tempeh can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days and can be frozen up to 12 months for longer storage. Tempeh can also be dried for longer storage. To dry tempeh, slice and arrange on dehydrator sheets. You may choose to season them as well. Dry until firm or crisp. As with other foods, the more moisture is removed, the longer tempeh will store. Keep in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark location.