Play Video

Tempe, Indonesian Soy-based Superfood

“There’s no Indonesian who doesn’t know about tempe”. That’s how we describe how special tempe is, especially to foreigners. But did we really know about tempe? What makes tempe special? And is there any other way to serve tempe? 

Let’s take a look!

  1. An indigenous food from Indonesia

Tempe is a fermented food made of mainly soybeans and is a nutritious, affordable, and sustainable functional source of protein. It has been consumed as a staple source of protein for more than 300 years in Indonesia. Globally, tempe is a widely accepted fermented product.

According to researchers, The word “tempe” has been hypothesized to be derived from the word “tumpi,” a white ancient Javanese food made of sago flour that tempe resembled the appearance of (Purwadaria et al., 2016).

In terms of production, tempe was first made using soybeans wrapped in leaves, for example, banana, teak, or waru (Hibiscus spp.) leaves, suggesting that tempe might originate from an accidental inoculation of soybean by Rhizopus spp. mold on the leaf surface (Harahap et al., 2018; Winarno et al., 2017)

  1. What makes it special

In Indonesia, tempe is known as a “low-class protein” food commodity because of  its low price, high supply, and accessibility for people across the country, including those who could not afford meat (Karyadi & Lukito, 1996)

But, the fact is tempe has been known as a source of significant amounts of protein, Vitamin B12, and bioactive compounds (Babu et al., 2009; Nout & Kiers, 2005).

Based on the nutritional analysis, tempe can be considered as a nutritious source of protein given the high protein content, high fiber content, low saturated fat content, mineral content, and vitamin content. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), the average protein content is about 19 g in 100 g tempe. It means consuming tempe can help you to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for protein nutrition that is about 60 g according to Perka BPOM No.9 Year 2016.

Compared to beef, tempe was observed not to be inferior and potentially more favorable in terms of protein, total fat, saturated fat, fiber, cholesterol, calcium, iron, and sodium content.


  1. Tempe Day

In 2013, the Indonesian Tempe Forum (Forum Tempe Indonesia/FTI) proposed June 6th as the world Tempe Day. This date setting is based on two things, first because June 6th is the birthday of the first President of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno. Second, June 6th was the day where Tempe House Indonesia (Rumah Tempe Indonesia/RTI) was inaugurated in Bogor. So FTI was eager to set June 6th as World Tempe Day.

Ir. Soekarno once delivered a speech that told Indonesian people to not become a “tempe nation”, to motivate the Indonesian people not to be trampled on by other nations. This refers to the process of making tempeh, namely stripping the skin of soybeans by being stepped on before fermenting. 

Source :


  1. New “shape” of Tempe

 We usually serve tempe fried, stir fried, or dried. But have you ever imagined another way to serve tempe? It turns out there are many tempe recipe ideas on the internet that you can try. Here are some of them!


BBQ Tempe with Broccoli and Guacamole Bowl

Photo by : @Cookingforpeanuts


Sate Tempe Plappa / Spicy and Sweet Tempe Sate

Photo by : Nelly Eka Someilia

  1. Make yourself Tempe at Home!

 Instead of buying tempe, you can try to make tempe at home with an easy method! Here’s a  reference for you to try!

As a young generation, it’s our duty to keep and develop this culinary heritage!


References :


Amadeus Driando Ahnan-Winarno, Florentinus Gregorius Winarno, John Gibbons, Lorraine Cordeiro, Hang Xiao. (2021). Tempeh: A semi-centennial review on its health benefits, fermentation, safety, processing, sustainability, and affordability. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 20(2) : 1717-1767.

 Babu, P. D., Bhakyaraj, R., & Vidhyalakshmi, R. (2009). A low cost nutritious food “tempeh”-A review. World Journal of Dairy & Food Sciences, 4(1), 22–27.

Harahap, R. H., Lubis, Z., & Kaban, J. (2018). Volatile flavor compounds of tempeh wrapped with banana leaf and plastic. Agritech – Jurnal Teknologi Pertanian, 38(2), 194–199.

Karyadi, D., & Lukito, W. (1996). Beneficial effects of tempeh in disease prevention and treatment. Nutrition Reviews, 54(11), S94–S98.

Nout, M. J. R., & Kiers, J. L. (2005). Tempe fermentation, innovation and functionality: Update into the third millennium. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 98(4), 789–805.

Purwadaria, H. K., Fardiaz, D., Kardono, L. B. S., & McElhatton, A. (2016). Tempe from traditional to modern practices. In A. McElhatton & M. El Idrissi (Eds.), Modernization of traditional food processes and products (pp. 145-160). Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Winarno, F.G., Winarno,W., & Ahnan-Winarno,A.D. (2017). Tempe – kumpulan fakta menarik berdasarkan penelitian. Jakarta, Indonesia: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

July 22, 2021

Tempe: Indonesian Soy-based Superfood Tempe, Indonesian Soy-based Superfood “There’s no Indonesian who doesn’t know about tempe”. That’s how we describe how special tempe is, especially to foreigners. But did […]
July 22, 2021

Sleeping With Science: Understand the Science of Sleep to Live a Better Life

Sleeping With Science: Understand the Science of Sleep to Live a Better Life   All of us must have already known the importance of sleep, but […]
May 17, 2021

Laboratory Animal: How to Treat Them?

  Have you watched the viral “Save Ralph” video? This video tells about the life of Ralph, a rabbit that lives as a laboratory animal. This […]
April 25, 2021

Biomimicry: The Secret of Modern Technology

Have you ever heard the word “Biomimicry”? It appeared in the scientific literature in 1962 to define the process of mimicking the basic functions of biological […]
April 13, 2021

Press Release Ngariung 1 x VCP Product

Hello IAASers! Ngariung 1 x VCP Product was successfully held on Sunday, 4th of April 2021 conducted by offline activity. The event is attended by 10 […]
March 22, 2021

World Water Day

Hello IAASers! World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the […]
March 22, 2021

International Day of Forests

Hello IAASers! Forests are part of your life in more ways than you realize. Forest sustainable management and their use of resources are key to combating […]
March 15, 2021

Do(s) and Don’t(s) During Flood

Dos and Don’ts We Need to Know During the Flood. Indonesia took a hit. A series of natural disasters have hit Indonesia in early 2021. One […]
March 11, 2021


PRESS RELEASE : AGRIRANGER 1 2021 Agriranger 1 was successfully held using the hybrid method which means conducted both online and offline on Saturday, March 6th, […]