Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian soy food that is very healthy to eat as part of your diet.
It can be found in the health food aisle at most major grocery stores, and it is perfect for sandwiches, stir fry, or any other dish where you would use meat or tofu.
For many people, tempeh has become a staple in their diet since it is a soy food that is versatile, healthy, and cost-effective.
Do you wonder if you can freeze tempeh? The answer to this question is yes.
Tempeh freezes very well, and it tends to have better texture when reheated after being frozen.
Freezing also improves the flavor of tempeh because as it thaws out, you have the opportunity to marinate it in your favorite dip or sauce.
You can freeze tempeh before or after you cook it.
In this article, we will take a closer look at freezing tempeh so you can determine if it is a good option for your diet.
The History of Tempeh
Tempeh is believed to have originated during the 16 th century in Indonesia, where it was considered peasant food.
Because of its high protein content and nutritional value, tempeh became popular throughout Asia and continued to spread worldwide as more people learned about it.
The name tempeh comes from the island of Java, where it was first produced.
Some historians believe that tempeh originated with the Javanese, who began to culture soybeans in place of fermentation due to religious beliefs regarding alcohol production.
Tempeh is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form.
The fermentation process transforms the beans into a firm, protein-rich food that has antibiotic properties.
Tempeh can be found in most health food stores or can easily be ordered over the Internet.
It typically costs less than $5 for a package that contains eight to ten cakes.
Does Freezing Affect Tempeh’s Flavor?
If you’ve never tried tempeh, it is a great time to start. The process of freezing tempeh has many benefits.
Freezing helps improve the flavor of the soybeans. By freezing it, you are locking in all that great protein and nutrients for later use.
Freezing tempeh is also a great way to save money. If you buy it in bulk, you can freeze what you don’t use instead of throwing it out.
Freezing tempeh is so convenient that you won’t worry about having leftovers anymore.
It’s super easy to store and thaw, and it’s one of the easiest soy foods to cook with.
It comes in a wide variety of flavors, so there is something for everyone.
Freezer bags are ideal because they don’t have any odor that the tempeh might absorb.
Plastic freezer containers can also be used for longer-term storage, but make sure to label the container with the contents and date.
Freezer storage time will vary depending on how old your tempeh is when you freeze it.
Newer packages may lose some of their flavors, but older tempeh will withstand the freezing process much better because it already has a strong flavor.
How to Freeze Tempeh?
Tempeh can be frozen in its original packaging, as long as the package is not ripped.
However, it is best to transfer it into a storage container once you get home from the store.
If you buy tempeh at the health food store, it is most likely packaged in a plastic bag.
Plastic bags can be difficult to get out of, so try putting the tempeh into a large freezer bag and suck out as much air as possible before sealing shut.
The best way to freeze tempeh and retain its flavor is by steaming it over boiling water before freezing.
This process cooks the soybeans and helps remove some of their natural bitterness.
After you steam the tempeh, you should let it cool to room temperature, wrap the cakes tightly in plastic wrap, or place them inside a sealable freezer bag.
Then, place the tempeh in the freezer.
Keeping frozen tempeh for longer than four months will affect its flavor, so try to only freeze it for a month or two months at a time.
If you don’t think you will use all of it within a month, then cut it up and freeze the pieces separately so you can easily defrost what you need.
How to Thaw and Reheat Frozen Tempeh?
The easiest way to thaw tempeh is by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.
It should still be good for a few days after thawing, but once that time passes, cook it or throw it out.
Gently defrost your tempeh overnight in your refrigerator before using it.
You should thaw it for about 12 hours and then cook according to your recipe or instructions.
When you are ready to cook, heat a skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add cooking oil until it spreads across the pan in an even layer.
Add your tempeh and sauté for 10 minutes to warm it up, occasionally stirring so that it doesn’t burn.
Cook according to package directions if your recipe does not call for heating it.
The best way to reheat tempeh is in a skillet over medium-high heat with a little oil.
Sauté until the tempeh is warm again, occasionally stirring so that it doesn’t burn.
You can also microwave your tempeh for about 2 minutes or put it into a microwave-safe container with a little water on the bottom of the container and cover it.
Heat for 2 to 3 minutes, then check to see if it is warm enough. If not, heat in increments of 30 seconds until hot.
How to Tell if Tempeh is Bad?
If stored properly in the freezer, your tempeh should be good for a few months.
Tempeh that is packaged without preservatives will not last as long, and it is harder to tell when it goes bad.
However, if the tempeh smells strange or looks different than usual, then throw it out.
The first thing to look for when trying to tell if tempeh is bad is mold.
If you see any black spots or white fuzz on the top, throw it out.
If your tempeh was not packaged with a layer of liquid between the layers, you should also check for water discoloration every few days.
If there are any dark spots, throw them out.
In conclusion, tempeh is a great addition to any diet, and it is worth the effort of trying to make your own.
It can be fried, baked, or poached for a delicious addition to any meal. Just remember that you have to cook it before eating it.
Thawing it overnight in your refrigerator is easiest, but you can also cook it from frozen if you are short on time.
Cooking it in a skillet with some oil is the best way to heat up or reheat it.
Ensure that it doesn’t have any strange smells and look for any discoloration, like mold or water spots.