Ooh the Tempeh-tation

There are brand new flavors poppin’ out the incubator this week. Some smell like alcoholic cheese, others like hearty aged cheese, and others like pungent in-a-barrel for months deep in the mountains cheese.  And that tempeh odor is pungently seductive.  And futuristic (as in the future of food).

This week’s winner has to be the chickpea wild rice combination that combines the smooth body of chickpeas with the nutty, crisp earthiness of wild rice.  The second round made of red split lentils, fenugreek seeds, and mixed brown rice came together into one of the most solid cakes the Rhizosporus and I have produced.  If that combination of ingredients sounds familiar, then you may be thinking of dosa, which I was intending to make until my basic-ass blender broke.  The resulting tempeh smelled sweet and malty, perhaps even alcoholic, but prime and certainly fry-able.

You can see in one of the pictures that the tempeh reached 103.5˚F after almost 24 hours in an oven no more than 80˚F.  By incubating the tempeh in baking vessels, I can easily turn the oven on low to dehydrate and pre-crisp the tempeh for eating straight out or flavoring and frying later.  In addition, a sprinkling of dulse flakes (pre-incubation) never hurt nobody.  One important technique I’ve started using is heating the cooked grains and beans in the pot and/or oven on low for an hour or two to dehydrate them before incubation, as moisture derails the fermentation!  Also see: one down on the left, sporulating single layer of rice for future starter culture.  Comment if you’d like to see dishes/recipes, how sexy you could look if you ate this stuff, etc.

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