How To : Make your own Tempe (fermented soy beans)

So how do i make my own tempe?

This is the Tempe Starter (Ragi)

This is the Tempe Starter (Ragi)


1kg soy beans

1-1/2 tbsp of tempe starter/ragi

Soak the beans

Step #1 : Soak the beans

#1 : soak the beans for 24hours

1. soak the soy beans for 24hours

2. whenever possible, rub the beans together. this is to get their skins/hulls off as many as possible.

3. filter the hulls out

Boil the beans

Step #2 : Boil the beans

#2 : boil the beans for 30mins

1. fill in clean water, enough to cover the beans

2. boil the beans for 30 mins or so (some people add in 3tbsp of vinegar but i never tried it before)

Dry the beans by pouring it on the tray or fry it in a wok (no oil).

Step #3 : Dry the beans by pouring it on the tray or fry it in a wok (no oil).

#3 : fry, & mix

1. drain water out

2. fry the beans (without any oil) in a wok. make sure you keep stirring as the beans burn easily

3. leave the beans to let it cool down at room temperature (leave it out for 15mins or so)

4. when you’re able to hold the beans (without getting your hand burnt!), add in the tempe starter

5. mix the beans thoroughly

Pack the dried beans into plastic bags

Step #4 : Pack the dried beans into plastic bags

#4 : pack & seal

1. get your plastic bags and poke small holes on both sides of the plastic bags (to allow the mould to breathe)

2. scoop the beans into plastic bags (whatever size you prefer) and seal them (use sealer or do it using candle)

3. press the packed bags flat

Poke the bags before or after youve filled it with the beans

Poke the bags before or after you've filled it with the beans

#5 : store the beans for 36hours

1. store them in a dark and dry (with good air ventilation) place. (i normally put them in the oven. it’s dark and the grill allows the air to circulate around the bags. but if you’re planning to bake within the 36 hours period, better find somewhere else to store them ;P

2. leave them for about 36-48 hours to ferment

tips: i usually take a peek in between to ensure that the fermentation takes place if you don’t see the mould/the fermentation doesn’t occur, don’t fret. and definitely, do not throw away the beans (like what i did the first time around!) . just take them out from the bags into a container, mix in a bit more starter, repack and store. this can be done at any stage.

give it a try! you don’t have to remember the detailed steps. just the main ones that i have bold, italicised and underlined.

it’s soooo easy making them. honestly.

i’ve already made several batches up to today.

14 thoughts on “How To : Make your own Tempe (fermented soy beans)

  1. I tried calling you a few times yday tapi couldnt get through.. busy buat tempe rupanya.. gila power.. nak order bleh??

  2. hahahha… u called my office line or handphone? office sometime tak layan… but, kalau hp tu maybe pasal tak dengar or u used line which i don’t recognise…

    mau order ka? ya, bisa aja dong…. maunya brapa neng? kapan? hahahaha…


  3. it sounds easy! i wanna try lah.
    my mom slalu complaint tempe now getting ridiculously expensive, padahal it’s just ‘soya basi’ :p
    and all the shops always running out of soya when the raya comes.
    will definitely try this!
    by the way, how long each batch will last? after ‘jadi’, then we need to keep them in the fridge ke macam mana?

  4. nak tanya lagi.. where do i get the tempe starter/ragi?
    how big is the packet? sorry i don’t know how to agak2 from the picture you gave.
    can i use the same ragi i made tapai?

  5. hey laydiefa…

    memang easy banget!!! steps dia byk buat, and then u biarkan…buat, and then u biarkan lagi

    hmmmm… how long it will last ek? paling lama i simpan (dlm fridge) is one week. but usually the day after ‘siap’ tu, kitorg dah masak dah tempe nih… nanti i test ek?

    of course simpan lama2 nanti naik the greyish2 mould tu, but not to worry sgt lah, that’s normal… lagipun, buat guna fungy lah katakan…

    my fren pernah kata, the smellier the better! maybe sbb ada that ‘tangy’ taste kot? not sure…

    about where to get the ragi, i got mine in Yogya, Indo for rm3/pack of 300g. But, kalau kat sini, kat pasar basah sure ada… e.g. chow kit ke… part nak dptkan ragi nih yg leceh sket…

  6. I tried to make fermented soybeans before I found your page. I soaked the beans for 24 hours, drained, baked at 170 degree F. for 90 miuntes, and let it sit in the oven for 3 days trying to get it to grow mouldy. But I don’t see any mould coming out of it. Should I go get the tempe now to let it ferment? But where can I get it. Your advise will be greately appreciated.

  7. Hi Margaret,

    I’m not actually an expert on the matter but I will try to assist you the best I can.

    I believe to make tempe you need to mix the soy beans with the ‘ragi’ (something like yeast). Perhaps you can try and get it from any of the Asian groceries shop.

    But, if you can’t find any, here’s another option. I heard from a friend of mine, the ragi can be made from the tempe itself.
    Get yourself some tempe. Blend it (dry). And dry it out for several days. That then can be used to ferment the soybean.

    Never tried this before myself but do let me know the outcome if you do.

  8. Hi, I live in jkt.where do i get ragi, tempe starter. Have u ever tried to make tofu(Tahu) at home. I do make at home but it turns out bitter. May I know why it turns so. Can u tell me if u know the reason. Thanks in advance.

  9. please tell me how soy-flour is easily fermented to blend it with starchy foods after it’s fermentation.

  10. GREAT. Thank you very much.
    Just read about the terrific benefits of including fermented Soya beans in one’s diet.

    Now(?) I’ve just to find these ingredients on Eleuthera Island, Bahamas.

    Sun-downer time.
    Cheers, John.

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