Happy New Year! Please be patient as we finish rolling out the new brand.
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Happy New Year!
You’ve probably noticed things are looking a little different around here as we’re going through a rebrand. As we transform everything over to our extraordinary new look we’re expecting there may be some issues here and there. We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused and really appreciate your patience and understanding. We’ll be back to normal very soon and if you encounter any issues you need us to fix right away please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get back to all enquiries from the 4th. Thanks so much again for your support!”
Discover the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
What is tempeh?
Tempeh is a naturally delicious and nutritious plant-based food that originated in Indonesia over 300 years ago. It is made through fermenting soybeans, or any other legume, nut, grain or seed, to naturally transform them into a firm block that's even more packed with protein and fibre, delicious and versatile - to ‘better nature’, you might say. What's more, it also counts as one of your five a day.
What does tempeh taste like?
Typically, people describe tempeh as having quite a nutty taste and a very firm and rich texture. It’s great by itself as a base ingredient for dishes like Teriyaki Tempeh, or flavoured like our Smoky Tempeh Rashers or BBQ Tempeh Strips. We don’t really think there’s anything else like it - it's an extraordinary food in its own right - which is why it's so game-changing.
Why do you love tempeh so much?
It’s simple really - tempeh is one of the most naturally delicious, nutritious and sustainable foods on the planet, and we just don’t think this is celebrated enough. We think tempeh has the potential to help people all over the world live healthier and happier lives, without harming the planet in the process.
How is tempeh made?
Tempeh production begins by soaking, dehulling and partly cooking soybeans (or any other legumes, nuts, grains or seeds of your choosing). The soybeans are then mixed with a 100% natural culture. The soybeans are later spread into a thin layer and are allowed to ferment for 24 to 36 hours at a temperature of about 30°C (although we’ve developed technology to make this process faster, without compromising nutritional value and actually enhancing the taste). Later, the temperature of the soybeans will naturally rise and rapid growth of mycelium (the white/cream stuff you see around the beans, binding them together) occurs for about 4 hours. As the growth declines, the soybeans are bound into a solid mass by the mycelium and your tempeh is ready.
What else can tempeh be made out of?
Tempeh can be made out of any legume, nut, grain or seed. We’ve experimented with everything and anything from quinoa to spirulina to chia to chickpeas - we’re reinventing tempeh, so get excited.
How is tempeh gut-friendly?
Tempeh is great for the gut for three main reasons:
It’s high in fibre, feeding gut microbiota to aid healthy digestion
It contains remnants of microorganisms from its fermentation which can stimulate the immune system and help keep you healthy
It contains polyphenols that act as antioxidants, catching harmful free radicals found in the gut cells. What an extraordinary food it is.
Is tempeh allergen free?
Tempeh by itself is naturally gluten-free and nut-free however it does, of course, typically contain soybeans. That being said, we’ve done plenty of experimenting with soy-free tempeh, which has worked very well so far - we'll keep you posted on this. That being said, all of our products, except for our Organic Tempeh, are at risk of gluten cross contamination and so can't be considered gluten-free. We're really sorry about this and are looking into alternatives.
Does cooking tempeh affect its nutritional properties?
Raw tempeh provides a good supply of gut-friendly microorganisms like probiotics and these are lost when it’s cooked or pasteurised. However, the rest of the nutritional benefits of tempeh like its protein and fibre content, the remnants of microorganisms, its micronutrients like iron and calcium and so on, are all maintained after cooking. Cooked or pasteurised tempeh is more reliably safe to eat too, so on balance we think it's the better choice.
What impact does pasteurisation have on the nutritional profile of tempeh?
Very little, if any - it's very quick and relatively mild. It certainly doesn’t do anything that wouldn’t then be done when cooking the tempeh. But don’t fear, cooked tempeh is still packed with goodness and great for you. Cooked and pasteurised tempeh is also more reliably safe to eat so on balance we think it's the better choice.
Where can I buy your products?
All our products can be found on our online shop. They can also be found in other retailers and some select independent stores, which are regularly updated on our Stockists page. We’re adding new stockists all the time, so please keep checking there and on our social media pages for updates.
Are all of your products suitable for vegans & vegetarians?
Yes, all of our products are 100% vegan. We also make an active effort not to use animal products in any aspect of the business, from our research to our marketing materials.
Are your products organic?
A couple of them are, including our Organic Tempeh and Organic Smoked Tempeh, but the rest are not. While we love organic food and recognise its benefits, we've decided to offer variety to cater to as many people as possible and ensure our products are accessible to all. This wasn't an easy decision but as our mission is to help as many people be and feel well as possible, we think it is the right one.
Do your products need to be refrigerated?
Our products do need to be refrigerated, even before they’re opened. Specific storage instructions will be on the packaging of each product.
Can your products be frozen?
Yes they can. However, all our products except our Organic Tempeh, Smoky Tempeh Rashers and Organic Smoked Tempeh need to be removed from their packaging and popped into a freezer-friendly bag to do so, as the packaging is not freezer-friendly. To maintain the taste and texture of the tempeh, we don’t recommend doing so for longer than 2 months.
How do I cook with your products?
We have loads of naturally delicious tempeh recipes to get your tummy rumbling and creative juices following on our recipes page, or on our Instagram page. All of our tempeh have cooking instructions on them too, along with a recommended recipe. If you have a specific question that hasn't been answered elsewhere, feel free to reach out to us - we're always keen to help people create the tastiest tempeh dishes possible.
How long do your products last?
Our products have a minimum of 14 days shelf life from delivery on our online shop (this may different if bought elsewhere, as this is decided by the shop itself). Once the tempeh has been opened, we recommend consuming it within 48 hours. However, please do check the specific instructions on the packaging as it may vary for different flavours. Please note, black or grey spots on tempeh are a normal by-product of their fermentation and do not suggest it has gone off.
Is there any risk to not cooking your products properly?
Not at all. Our tempeh is totally safe to eat as it is as it has already been pasteurised, we just think it tastes better cooked. So, don’t be worried about any health risks to not cooking it thoroughly enough - just cook it to your taste.
Is your tempeh pasteurised? If so, why?
Yes, our tempeh is pasteurised. We do this to make it safer to eat and to keep it fresher for longer. Pasteurisation has very little, if any, impact on how nutritious the tempeh is - it's very quick and relatively mild. It certainly doesn’t do anything that wouldn’t then be done when cooking the tempeh. But don’t fear, cooked tempeh still maintains most of the good stuff and is great for you.
What is your approach to sustainability?
We believe that truly extraordinary food has to do good by you and the planet. That's why, protecting the planet is a priority in everything we do. Being a start-up, we're not perfect at all and have and will make mistakes, but we're always doing our best and constantly striving to be better. As the UK's first Carbon Negative and Plastic Negative meat-free brand, our mission is to be the most sustainable, ethically-minded company we can. This is outlined in more detail on our About Us page, which shares our mission and three core values, and our Planet Positive page, which explains our approach to sustainability. If you have any questions regarding this or any suggestions for us, we'd love to hear from you.
Why do you use plastic packaging?
We’re the first to admit it, the use of plastic packaging for our products is not ideal at all and it frustrates us a lot.
The reasons for it are that packing legumes in plastic before fermentation helps make the fermentation process more accurate (in terms of the oxygen levels, temperature, humidity etc.), which then makes it a more efficient and reliable way to produce tempeh. This reduces the chances of any tempeh getting wasted.
It is possible to produce tempeh without the use of plastic, but it is a lot harder and opens up the possibility of spoilage and an inconsistent quality of products. This being said, we are always working on improving our production process and have plans to implement better practices with less plastic involved in the near future.
Additionally, after being fermented, tempeh needs to be vacuum packed to halt the fermentation process continuing. Otherwise, it would keep interacting with the oxygen in the air, happily fermenting away until it eventually spoils (tempeh is very tricky business).
So, to extend tempeh’s shelf-life, reduce the likelihood of any spoilage and make it suitable for wider distribution, the use of plastic packaging is, unfortunately, currently necessary. However, we’re always looking into more eco-friendly materials and have recently made all of our products Plastic Negative, through a partnership with rePurpose Global and Indonesian social enterprise Waste4Change, meaning we offset double the plastic we produce.
It's not the end goal by any means, but it's a positive step in the right direction.
Where are the beans for your products sourced?
Our soybeans are sourced from Canada and Italy. We source all our beans from ethical and sustainable farms, some of which are organic and some non-organic. Our beans are sent to our Tempeh HQ using as minimal emissions as possible, as reflected in our products' top A carbon rating - measured by independent carbon assessor Foodsteps.
Where is your tempeh produced?
Our tempeh is produced in Belgium and the Netherlands. We would love to produce our tempeh in the UK but due to tempeh being a very new food to the UK market and us being a small company, it's not feasible for us for now. That being said, we've found some excellent, ethically-minded partners to work with and we don't use air freight (the greatest cause of CO2 emissions in transport) for any of our ingredients or products. While the travel of ingredients and products is sometimes unavoidable, we make a huge effort to keep the emissions at a minimum. These emissions are factored into our Foodsteps carbon rating, which is A (the highest rating) for all our products. We also have some exciting plans around our tempeh production for the future, and will of course keep you updated as things develop.
Are any of your ingredients or products air freighted?
No, none of our ingredients or products have hopped on a plane. While the travel of ingredients and products is sometimes unavoidable, we make a big effort to keep the emissions at a minimum. When you tuck into your tempeh, you're enjoying food that has a low carbon footprint, verified by My Emissions’ farm to fork analysis. It’s also Carbon and Plastic Negative as we’ve offset double the carbon and plastic used to make it.
What is the difference between tempeh in glass jars and your products?
Tempeh in glass jars is preserved differently to our tempeh. Due to this, it differs in texture and taste compared to our tempeh - it's much softer and doesn't absorb flavours as well due to its higher water content. We try to stay as true as possible to the real deal and celebrate tempeh’s uniquely firm texture and satisfying taste, which is why we produce and package our tempeh the way we do.
Where are you based?
We are based in London (UK), along with the majority of the team, but we also have team members in Bogor (Indonesia), Maribor (Slovenia) and Nice (France). We’re a company with proud Indonesian roots and a desire to give back to the incredible Indonesian culture that has given us the gift of tempeh, but with an international perspective - as reflected in our team.
When were you set up?
We (Driando, Chris, Elin and Fabio) came up with the idea for the business at the end of 2018, but we didn’t finalise our name or brand until April 2019 and we didn't launch our first product range until January 2020. So it’s been a bit of whirlwind since then, but we've loved it! We're so grateful to be able to spend our time celebrating the incredible food that is tempeh and getting more and more people excited about eating naturally delicious and nutritious food. Thank you so much for your support which has allowed us to do that.
What drew you all to tempeh?
We all fell in love with tempeh and plant-based eating for different reasons. Some of us through environmental reasons, some through animal rights, some through health reasons, some through a passion for shining a spotlight on this incredible but often overlooked Indonesian food, and some a mix of them all. What brought us all together was simply a desire to help people to live healthier and happier lives - through protecting people and our planet alike. Tempeh was just the perfect way to do so.
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DISCOVER 11 OF OUR FAVOURITE tempeh recipes
If you aren't sure how to cook tempeh or are looking for some inspiration, download this Tempeh Cookbook. You'll discover our favourite flavour-packed recipes, along with some fun tempeh facts and surprising activities