Can You Eat Tempeh Raw?
Yes! While eating tempeh raw does not pose any food borne illness concern as it is not a meat, tempeh raw may not be your favorite way to consume it. Here’s why…. tempeh has a slightly bitter taste to it from the fermentation of the soybeans in the tempeh. When cooked (especially with a bit of water like slightly steamed after pan frying), the bitterness is removed and many people prefer this option. Also, because tempeh doesn’t have much of a taste, by cooking it you can add in your favorite flavors to increase the overall deliciousness of this high protein plant-based choice.
Best Vegan Tempeh
When it comes to tempeh products, some tempeh is simply only soybean while other tempeh options include grains as well.
What We Love: If you want to dive on into tempeh without having to season it yourself, the Lightlife Fakin’ Bacon Tempeh is a great option! This tempeh is perfect on vegetarian BLTs, crumbled on pasta, or slabbed on a baked potato. It’s salty and savory and easy to add to meals without all of the cholesterol or saturated fat as traditional bacon. Check out Lightlife’s Fakin’ Bacon HERE.
Considerations: Because this version of tempeh has seasonings added to it, it is higher in sodium. Most tempeh varieties without flavorings added do not have any sodium. Lightlife’s Fakin’ Bacon contains 580mg sodium per serving.
What We Love: Organic soybeans with barley, brown rice, and millet is a stellar combination in Lightlife’s Three Grain Organic Tempeh. The addition of millet and barley gives this tempeh more of a nutty/heartiness with the same familiar texture of tempeh. Lightlife’s tempeh’s are firmer and denser than some brands out there and that adds to this texture that we can’t get enough of. With a great source of plant-based protein (19g per serving) along with containing calcium, iron, and potassium, Lightlife’s tempeh is a nutritional superfood of the sorts. Check out the Three Grain Tempeh HERE.
Considerations: If you follow a gluten-free diet for any reason, it’s important to note that while millet and brown rice are gluten-free grains, barley contains 5-8% gluten and shouldn’t be consumed by those with a gluten allergy/intolerance. Most other forms of tempeh that would not contain barley or another gluten containing grain are fine to consume.
What We Love: You can’t beat the simple ingredients in Lightlife’s Original Tempeh: cultured organic soybeans, water, and brown rice. It’s straightforward and simple and with a whopping 18g of plant-based protein per serving, this is a great option for many of your plant-based meals including chili, tacos, sandwiches, bowls, curries, and more. Tempeh is also a good source of iron with 2mg per serving. You can find this tasty nutritional powerhouse HERE.
Considerations: You will have to add seasoning and spice to this plain Jane type of tempeh and isn’t the best to eat right out of the package (although you can!). One of the easiest ways to eat tempeh is to saute it with olive oil, soy sauce, and a tablespoon or two of maple syrup. The salty sweet combination pairs perfectly with the heartiness of the tempeh.
There you have it… you can eat tempeh raw and you can find some tasty tempeh options for your next plant-based meal!