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Alfonso Kenny
Published: 13 Dec 2021

Tempeh, Indonesia Superfood

"Tempe" or "Tempeh" is a fermented food that has been in Indonesia for 400 years. Tempe was first documented in "Serat Centhini" manuscript that recorded events around the year 1600s during the reign of Sultan Mataram in Tembayat Village, Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia. At that time, tempe noted as a dish to welcome guests named "Sambal Tumpang" or "Sambal Lethok" that becomes the oldest-documented tempeh-based dish. Since that time tempe becomes main source of protein for Indonesian. Java island is where tempe most spread and most consumed in Indonesia.

Typically, tempe is made of soybeans, but, it can be made of many other beans, grains, and legumes by the same process of fermentation. There is various kind of leaves that can be used to wrap tempe. Some of the oldest known are waru, teak and guava leaves, while the most popular one in Indonesia is banana leaf.

The "magic" of the fermentation process happens in 24-72 hours after the beans mixed with the yeast. The beans are bound together by a beautiful white body of fungi, making it sliceable and it can be cooked just like we cooked meat. Mostly tempe served fried, consumed with rice, vegetables and dippings as a combination.

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