Making Tempeh and Tofu

Making Tempeh and Tofu


I’m currently on day 3 of the tempeh making process. I did loads of research, watched videos and read blog posts, and soaked my soybeans three days ago. I tested the temperature in my oven with the light on and decided that wasn’t the way to go. The warmest spot was 85 but it was mostly in the 70s in there.

Yesterday I dehulled the beans, rinsed them many times, boiled them, rinsed them more and finished dehulling, dried them, and began the process with vinegar and the starter culture. I packed them into ziplocks and made sure they were equalish in weight. I poked a zillion holes in the bags for proper ventilation.

So far I’ve done literally everything I’ve read to do. But here’s where I went wrong: I used the Instant Pot.

Pretty Sure My Instant Pot Is Cursed

I have a love/mostly hate relationship with this contraption. In fact, just before the pandemic started I put it in the goodwill pile. I’m pretty sure my Instant Pot has something broken in the electronics because if I have a 95% ratio of boiling food in there and I toss in a literal handful of frozen veggies, it will not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, close the valve to come to pressure. Nope. No way. Not happening.

I’d read to use the yogurt setting on the instant pot to make tempeh. One blog specifically said to use the low yogurt setting to get the 85 degrees needed for fermentation. I started it around 2:00 yesterday and opened it this morning. It’s barely 75 degrees in this stupid pot. The soybeans have done nothing except basically sit at room temperature for 19 hours. Super.

I realize this is the perfect recipe for food poisoning so we won’t be eating whatever comes of this. I turned it to medium on the yogurt setting and it’s 95 degrees inside the Instant Pot. I’ll post again with an update.


I tried for a third time to make tofu and unlike the tempeh, it was at least edible. I made a double batch of the recipe from the Homemade Vegan Pantry cookbook and ended up with a tiny little pancake of tofu and a ton of okara. Possibly the issue here is that my blender isn’t high-powered enough to blend the soybeans.

Tofu bits

On the plus side, there’s loads of okara to make cookies.

These have a crumbly texture and flavor very similar to brownies. Recipe here: