Eating tempeh for the first time is like listening to a song with a sound you haven’t heard before – and you are unsure if you like it. Its unique taste makes it so incomparable to any major soy foods. Originally from Indonesia, tempeh is made of fermented soybeans and bound into a cake form. The processing of the whole soybeans gives a higher content of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins than tofu usually has; and the fermentation makes it easily digestible. Tempeh is very versatile, it can be cooked, fried, damped or grilled, but shouldn’t be eaten raw.
I like it best fried, with vegetables or in a stew or soup, e.g. miso. Just cut the tempeh into pieces or thin slices, and fry in hot oil until light-brown. Drain on paper towels, then marinate in soysauce and dark sesame oil.
Tempeh is available in health food stores and Asia-shops (at least in Germany) in the refrigerated section. With a starter culture you could make your own tempeh, but actually the instructions I’ve got do not seem uncomplicated. If you like to give it a try, write me an email for the instructions.