Since I got my Instant Pot last Christmas I have been constantly looking for ways to use it and save time. Tempeh is the perfect food to make in an Instant Pot because it makes use of its two most useful modes: pressure cooker and yogurt maker.
Making tempeh in the Instant Pot is not only easier, it’s also quicker. Obviously, it still requires several hours to incubate but the pressure cooker simplifies the whole process.
So, what are the advantages of making tempeh in the Instant Pot?
- You don’t have to soak the beans! Just rinse and pressure cook.
- Beans cook a lot faster and require less attention. This is the main advantage to me, I used to cook beans on the stove top and it took over 1 hour and constant attention, checking from time to time to see if there was still enough water or if the beans were not overcooked.
- No oven required for the incubation step. Yes, you read right! Thanks to the yogurt mode of the Instant Pot, the tempeh is at the perfect temperature, meaning the mold develops well. I used to incubate tempeh in my oven, meaning I couldn’t use it for 48H. Not good when you have a cookie craving…Problem solved with the Instant Pot!
Ready to make your own tempeh?
Start by pressure cooking the soybeans for 40 minutes, no soaking needed. Just rinse the beans, cover with water and pressure cook.
To speed up the process even more, I used peeled split soybeans. They don’t only cook faster, they also do not require peeling, which is usually the most time-consuming step when making tempeh from whole soybeans. If you can’t find split and peeled soybeans, there is an extra step you will have to do, check out the recipe notes.
Once your soybeans are cooked and soft, the next step is to pat them dry. This step is essential as the mold won’t grow well if there is too much moisture. I usually spread the beans on a clean kitchen towel and let it sit 15-20 minutes. Then top with another kitchen towel and press slightly to absorb excess moisture.
Next, you stir in a tablespoon of white vinegar, which lowers the ph and prevents bad mold from growing. Sprinkle the tempeh starter and mix well before transferring to freezer bags.
Make sure to pack the soybeans well in the freezer bags, you don’t want too much space between each soybean.
To incubate, we will use the Instant Pot’s yogurt mode! Pour 1 cup of water into the liner, add the steamer rack and place the soybean bags on the steamer so they don’t touch the water.
Set the Instant Pot on yogurt mode and let it do its magic! After 16 hours you can turn it off and let it incubate for another 24 hours. You don’t need the Instant Pot to generate heat anymore as the mold will start to generate its own. It’s actually funny how the tempeh is still warm after 24 hours!
You will start to see white mold growing after about 18-20 hours (2 hours after you turn off the yogurt mode), and it will fully cover the beans after about 40 hours.
Finally, when your tempeh loafs are firm and completely white, transfer to the refrigerator and use as you wish!
This recipe yields two tempeh loafs of about 13 ounces. If you like tempeh as much as I do it won’t last long, otherwise, it freezes very well and will keep for months in the freezer. For those of you who eat soy-free, check out my chickpea tempeh recipe, the base is basically the same.
If you have never made your own tempeh you should definitely try! It’s not as complicated as it seems and requires very little active time. Plus it tastes so much better than store-bought (no bitterness or aftertaste)! It’s also budget-friendly!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Note: This post is not sponsored, I just really enjoy cooking with the Instant Pot. This post contains affiliate links though. I earn a small commission if you order through one of these links. It helps support this blog and keeps the recipes coming.
- 2 cups split and peeled soybeans (see notes for whole soybeans)
- 6 cups water
- 1 tbsp white rice vinegar
- 1 tsp tempeh starter
- Rinse the soybeans under cold water. Transfer to the Instant Pot liner. Cover with the water and close the lid. Set the valve to “Sealing”.
- Pressure cook for 40 minutes and let the pressure release naturally (about 25 minutes). Once there is no more pressure, open the Instant Pot and drain the cooked soybeans.
- Transfer the cooked soybeans to a clean kitchen towel and let dry for 20 minutes. The soybeans should not be wet, if they still appear too wet, top with another clean kitchen towel and press a bit to absorb excess water.
- Transfer the soybeans to a large mixing bowl. Add the rice vinegar and stir using a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the tempeh starter and stir again until well combined.
- Take two freezer bags and pierce them using a fork or a chopstick at 1-inch intervals. Divide the soybeans into the freezer bags and pack them well. Then fold the rest of the bag over the soybeans to keep it tight.
- Wash the Instant Pot liner. Place 1 cup of water in the bottom and top with the steam rack. Place the two tempeh loafs on the steamer. Cover with a glass lid (or use the Instant Pot lid if you don’t have a large glass lid).
- Press the Yogurt button 3 times to set it on “Less” mode. Set the timer for 16 hours.
- After 16 hours, turn off the Instant Pot. You should start to see some white mold appearing. Remove the excess water from the lid using a paper towel. Place the lid back into place and let the tempeh incubate for another 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, the tempeh should be fully covered with white mold and bind the soybeans together into a firm cake. You can now place it in the refrigerator and use as you wish!
- Tempeh will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
If you can’t find split and peeled soybeans: Soak the whole soybeans overnight. The next morning, rinse and place in a large bowl. Cover with water. Using your hands, massage the beans to remove the hulls. Hulls will float on top, remove them using a colander and discard. Then you can cook the soybeans and follow the recipe.