Making tempeh

Now that the summer holiday is over and school has started again, I should have time to sew again! Unfortunately I guess the summer bug has got me, it is so hot in my sewing room upstair that I prefer to stay downstair most of the time. I’m trying to make a dress right now with tie-dye fabric from my mother but the progress is sooooo slow for such a simple dress.

Tempe making

Homemade tempeh

Anyway I made something else. The hot temperature is actually perfect for fermentation! So I thought about trying to make my own tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soy product, originally from Indonesia. It is high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. I usually deep-fried slices of tempeh after marinating them in garlic, coriander, salt, and water, but you can cook tempeh in various ways. It is even often used as a substitute for meat.

Sidra really likes fried tempeh and we often bought them from an Indonesian store in Shinokubo. But I always wanted to try making them myself so we can always have tempeh supplies at home. After researching my options (Google, of course), I ordered my tempeh starter from TopCultures, a company based in Belgium, which is pretty ironic since I was making a traditional Indonesian product in Japan.

Tempe making

300 gr dried soybeans, 2.5 tbsp of vinegar, 1/2 tsp tempeh starter

I used the instructions on this page to make my first batch. Instead of 600 g of dried soybeans, I only used 300 gr and half of everything else.

The dried soybeans need to be soaked overnight before they are splitted and dehulled. I found this to be the most difficult part. Some people crack the soybeans before soaking, using a mill. Since I don’t have a mill, I had to do the splitting (not cracking anymore as the soybeans had become softer) by hand.

I kinda like it thought, it felt like popping bubble wrap! You don’t want to stop, and keep looking for more. Maybe it’s just me though.

 

Tempe making Tempe making

After all the soybeans have been splitted and dehulled, the vinegar is added and they are cooked for 30 minutes. Then they are drained and left to cool off before the tempeh starter is added and mixed together. The soybeans have to be completely cooled off because heat will kill the fungus. I used ziplock bags as container. They were perforated at regular intervals with thick needles to allow breathing. Then the tempeh are stored in a warm place (about 30°C) for 36-48 hours.

After they were stored for fermentation, I took a peek every hour to check the progress. The first 12 hour, nothing seemed to happen to the beans, only the bags felt a little warm. Not knowing what to be expected, I began to feel a bit worried. But 36 hours later, they were already covered in white mould! I couldn’t believe that I was able to make my own tempeh!

Tempe making

After 36 hours of fermentation

I took them out of the bag, sliced them, and fried them immediately. They tasted so good! Sidra was ecstatic when he tasted them. He said they were the best tempeh in the world! He is such a picky eater and often refused to eat meat because he felt sorry for the animals, so I’m very happy that now we have an alternative protein source other than meat.

The two bags of tempeh disappeared faster than I thought, we fried them, marinade them in honey and pepper and microwaved them, and added them to spaghetti aglio. There are new batches already sitting in my cupboard now. My husband helped with the new batches because he was curious. I guess making tempeh will become our new routine!

Tempe making

Oooh fried tempeh…

Summer vacation 2011

Long flight home

Long flight home

We’re finally home after the vacation in Indonesia! Sidra enjoys meeting people, so he really loved his time there, meeting grandparents and other family members, going to places and seeing interesting things.

Our families live in different cities in indonesia, so we had to make several trips by cars and local airplanes to see them, and still there are family members and friends that we didn’t have the time to meet.

 

Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta

Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta

After we landed in Jakarta, we spent two days there so Sidra could spend time with his biological father. Then we went to visit my mother in  Jogjakarta, about one hour plane trip from the capital city, Jakarta. There is a lot of things to see in Jogjakarta, we rented a car and driver and went to see several places. The rental fee was quite cheap, about 25USD for 12 hours with driver, gas not included.

Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta

Sambisari temple, Jogjakarta

Affandi Museum, Jogjakarta Affandi Museum, Jogjakarta Affandi Museum, Jogjakarta Affandi Museum, Jogjakarta

Affandi museum, Jogjakarta

Taman Pintar, Jogjakarta Taman Pintar, Jogjakarta Taman Pintar, Jogjakarta Mirota, Jogjakarta

Taman Pintar and Mirota, Jogjakarta

Borobudur, Magelang

Borobudur, Magelang

Borobudur, Magelang Borobudur, Magelang Borobudur, Magelang Borobudur book!

Borobudur, Magelang

After visiting Jogjakarta, we took a flight trip back to Jakarta. From the airport, we took a two hours car trip to Bandung, my husband’s place. He spent his whole life in this house before moving to Japan in 1998.

House in Bandung

House in Bandung

Geology museum, Bandung

Geology museum, Bandung

Sidra’s recent interest is stones, and coincidentally my father in law is a geologist, so he was very happy to hear about Sidra’s interest. He took us to Geology museum in Bandung, which was also his old office. Sidra had a good time there and asked an overwhelming questions. He spent his allowance money to buy stones, and also brought back more stones, gifts from his biological father and my father in law.

Geology museum, Bandung Geology museum, Bandung Geology museum, Bandung Geology museum, Bandung

Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food

And let’s not forget the food! My mother is an awesome cook and she treated us with so many delicious home-made food while we were in Jogjakarta. We also went to a lot of restaurants and had so many wonderful dishes.

Bandung Food Food Early morning visit to the ICU :(

Unfortunately my husband’s stomach couldn’t handle those spicy Indonesian food. He caught a bad case of diarrhea and had to be brought to the ICU one early morning in Bandung. Thankfully he didn’t have to spend too much time there, but he have to be careful with those food next time.

Bajaj, Jakarta

Bajaj, Jakarta

After Bandung, we went back to Jakarta again and spent some more time there.

Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye

And suddenly it was time to say goodbye already. Two weeks felt so fast! Now we’re back to ordinary life, with only the three of us in the house. As much as I love going to Indonesia, I really love my quiet and comfortable home. Time to unpack and wash those heaps of dirty laundry!