Here at Buy Britain we are always on the lookout for something interesting and unusual with a fascinating back story. So we would like to introduce you to William Mitchell, The Tempeh Man and his tempeh making kit. William is an inspiration on cooking with this superfood and has big plans (covid permitting) to supply restaurants and bring tempeh to dinner plates across the UK.
So what is tempeh you ask? Pronounced tem-pay, it is a traditional Javanese soy product that is made from fermented soy beans. Similar to tofu but with a higher content of protein, fibre and vitamins, tempeh. When people ask what healthy food to eat, this would be right up there!
William first tried tempeh in 1995 when he was in Jakarta, Indonesia where he had taken up a teaching post. As you do, when in a new place, he tried a local dish Nasi Campur (rice with lots of accompaniments) and was astonished with the unfamiliar, tasty morsels of delicious food contained therein. Using a mix of sign language and slow English he enquired about the ingredient and was told tempeh. From that day to this he was hooked! During William’s time in Indonesia he had the opportunity to eat out at many small restaurants (warungs) and street food carts, sampling tempeh in many different, delicious Indonesian dishes.
William returned to the UK but took trips back to Indonesia learning more and more about the country, the culture, the language and the making of authentic and traditional tempeh. His mission became to introduce this healthy food to the UK where it was little known outside the Indonesian expat community. With his skills honed he adapted the making process to suit the UK climate.
In April 2014 the Tempeh Man set up stall in Leather Lane Market in Central/East London. He offered Indonesian fresh cooked curries and wraps. The delicious cooking smells attracted a huge fan base and new converts to the tempeh cause. Of course with the pandemic taking hold and markets having to close, this presented a bit of a setback to William’s plans! However, he has used this time wisely, focusing on recipe development and encouraging people to try out tempeh-making at home.
Now, with fingers well and truly crossed, as we follow the roadmap and things start to open up again, William is poised to re-ignite his restaurants plan and introduce tempeh to a far wider audience.
If you are a fan of plant based food, looking for some healthy food ideas, or would like to experiment with some Indonesian cooking at home, you can buy one of William’s Tempeh Kits here on Buy Britain. The beautifully boxed kits come with all the ingredients and of course a full set of comprehensive instructions.
Ten Top Tempeh Tips
How To Cook With This Superfood
- You can slice it, dice it, chop it and even grate it.
- It doesn’t fall apart even when simmered.
- It absorbs flavours brilliantly whether in marinades or during cooking processes.
- Tempeh is super adaptable and can be incorporated into most world cuisines.
- It can be fried for a firmer texture or cooked more slowly for a softer consistency and it has a delicate nutty flavour.
- As a vegan, superfood, tempeh is healthier, tastier and far less processed than tofu so makes a top meat substitute.
- Any recipe that involves simmering the tempeh first before frying, baking or sautéing will result in pieces that are soft on the inside and have crunch on the outside.
- Cut your finished block into whatever sized pieces will best suit your recipe:
- If you want to use it as a ground beef substitute, grate it
- Adding to a soup, use bite size pieces
- Tacos, shred or crumble
- Popping it on the barbecue, cut into long strips for marinating
- You can also season your dry formed tempeh with herbs. Oregano, coriander or parsley will help to punch up the flavour. Or spices such as paprika and turmeric will not only add to the flavour but will enhance the look giving the slices a reddish brown or yellow tone.
- You can be creative with your tempeh cooking, satay, curry, burrito bowls, stir fry, tacos, fried rice, teriyaki, or even the good old bolognaise. If you are short on time you can simply season your tempeh, leave whole or cut into pieces, bung in the oven to bake and serve with rice and vegetables.
At Buy Britain We Say Let’s Give It A Go!