Soy haters: if you can’t stand the taste of edamame or the texture of tofu, you must try tempeh! When it comes to soy products, most people probably know what tofu is, but tempeh may still have some mystery to it. Don’t turn your back on soy just yet until you’ve given tempeh a few fair shots.

Tempeh is a fermented soy bean product that originated in Indonesia. The product undergoes natural culturing, which binds soybeans into a cake-like form, giving it a rough texture. This process gives it a higher content of dietary fiber, vitamins, and protein, as well as make it easier for your body to break down and digest.

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The added health benefits are one reason to give tempeh a try, but another is that it does not share the same consistency, taste, or texture as other soy products. The reasons soy haters do not like tofu may be for the texture, one that is the opposite of tempeh. While tofu has a soft and silky texture, tempeh is tough and grainy. Soy beans may taste too “green” or plain to someone who doesn’t like edamame, but they may enjoy the earthy, nutty flavor found in tempeh.

When prepared correctly, it’s one of the tastiest ways to get your soy protein. You can make your own, but for newbies, try picking up a premade package first, which you can find at any health food store and most grocery stores. The packaged versions can be made with other grains like barley, are stored in the fridge, and are as easy to cook as taking it out of the package and frying it with some olive oil on the stove.

The possibilities for using tempeh in vegan cooking seems endless – salads, pizza, sandwiches, stir fries – the list goes on. Tempeh can be used to mimic the taste and texture of meat, which makes it an excellent stand-in for burgers and chicken. It also absorbs most any flavor, so you can add just about any sauce from any cuisine to tempeh and have it come out scrumptiously. Try these delicious tempeh recipes:

1. Vegan Tempeh Tomato Herb Sandwich

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2. Pomegranate Sweet and Sour Tempeh

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3. Tempeh Picatta

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

4. Mock Chicken Salad

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5. Tempeh Tuna Salad

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

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6. Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Meatballs

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

7. Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

8. Butternut Squash Tacos with Vegan Tempeh Chorizo

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

9. Tempeh ‘Fish’ N’ Chips with Tartar Sauce

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

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10. Minced Tempeh Salad

Why Soy Haters Should Try Tempeh (With Recipes)

Lead Image Source: Balsamic BBQ Seitan and Tempeh Ribs