How to Store Tempeh

Tempeh (also spelled tempe) is fermented soybean cake with a rich, nutty flavor and crumbly texture. Traditionally used in Indonesian cooking, in recent years it has been embraced by vegetarians as a healthy meat substitute.


Step 1

Raw tempeh is perishable and must be kept cool. Unopened packages of tempeh may be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks (check the expiration date on the package). You can also freeze unopened packages of tempeh to store it for up to a year. Allow frozen tempeh to thaw before using.

Step 2

After opening, tempeh may be kept in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Use a zip-top plastic bag or other air-tight container to keep it moist and fresh.

Step 3

Cooked tempeh should be treated like meat, eggs or any other high-protein food, and should be kept either very warm (above 140F) or very cool (below 40F) to retard bacterial growth and ensure that the tempeh is safe to eat. If you're going to pack a tempeh dish for lunch, consider either cooling it with an ice pack or warming it up and packing it in an insulated food storage container.

Tips and Warnings

Since tempeh is a fermented product, a small amount of gray or black mold may occur on the surface. This is natural and the tempeh is still safe to eat. If there is so much mold that you can't make out individual soybean grains, or if the product is soft or smells bad, do not eat it.

Things You'll Need

Zip-top bag or other air-tight container, Refrigerator, Freezer (optional), Ice pack and/or insulated food-storage container (optional)

About this Author

Heidi Almond worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn. In 2002, Heidi graduated cum laude from an environmental liberal arts college with a concentration in writing.

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