Indonesia’s favorite vegetable protein source has gone mainstream in the United States
by Pat Tanumihardja
Surely you have heard of tofu, but you may have also heard of its cousin, tempe (1). This fermented food product has been popular in vegetarian and vegan circles for the last few decades, and now it’s slowly entering the mainstream. But what exactly is tempe, and where does it come from?
Tempe or tempeh has been a cornerstone of Indonesian cuisine for centuries and is one of the archipelago’s most popular vegetable protein sources next to tofu. Its beginnings can be traced to the island of Java, where tempe, as with many other fermented products, was developed as a food preservation method.
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