Does tempeh go bad?

  • Author: Alicia Harris
  • Date: March 18, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Tempeh is one of the most nutritious forms of plant-based protein available today. It is the most popular meat substitute among vegans and vegetarians. And as it becomes even more popular, one of the most often asked questions about it is “Does Tempeh Go Bad?” 

Keep reading to discover more about this traditional Indonesian dish. 

About Tempeh

Tempeh is a very popular fermented food. It is made by adding a special type of mold known as Rhizopus to cooked soybeans. Instead of soybeans, beans and grains can be used and the Rhizopus can be added there. 

The mold helps in improving the taste, texture as well as digestibility of the food. It does this by breaking down the proteins, carbs, and oils in the soybeans. Once the tempeh is made, the fermentation process is stopped by a cooking step that can deactivate the mold. 

So, does tempeh go bad?

Yes. Tempeh can go bad. When the tempeh is opened, it may rot and develop mold, just like any other food.

Fortunately, distinguishing between good mold and poor mold is simple. First and foremost, the bad spots are either black or gray in color and do not grow. 

Because pasteurization destroys the good mold, any mold that persists on your tempeh is most likely a result of the mold’s introduction into your home. If you notice any hairy or furry spots on your tempeh, it means the tempeh has gone bad and these spots must be avoided. THROW IT AWAY!

Tempeh should have a nutty aroma and a solid, juicy texture when cooked properly. It shouldn’t be slimy or damp in any way.

If your tempeh has an ammonia-like stench, throw it out immediately. You should contact the manufacturer if you purchase a package of tempeh and open it to discover that it contains signs of bad mold.

During fermentation, the healthy mold develops and multiplies. When this specific mold reaches maturity, it may produce spores that are black or gray in color.

These spores are responsible for the little black spots that emerge on your tempeh. All of these spots are perfectly normal and totally edible, and they indicate that your tempeh has reached its full maturity. They have no effect on the flavor in any way.

Tempeh that has gone bad generally has a powerful ammonia or alcohol-like smell to it. In addition, the texture of bad tempeh is frequently crumbly or mushy. While the presence of black or greyish spots on tempeh is typically safe, the presence of a green and fuzzy mold is not a good sign and such tempeh should be thrown away.

Does Tempeh Go Bad When Unopened?

Mold can thrive in environments with low levels of oxygen. As a result, even tempeh that has not been opened may rot.

The solution is to pay attention to the storage area.  Tempeh may last one to three days at normal temperatures. If it is refrigerated, it may last up to two weeks, and the way in which it’s packed and maintained plays a role in this. 

Should you choose to store the tempeh in the fridge, be sure to check the expiry date to determine when to consume it. As a result, you will need to ensure that it is kept in a safe environment so that it does not spoil. There are two effective methods of prolonging the shelf life of tempeh:

Season the tempeh with salt and garlic. Adding some salt and garlic to your tempeh is a great way to increase its lifespan. These spices act as natural preservatives, allowing the tempeh to last for longer periods of time.

Freeze the Tempeh: Keeping tempeh in the freezer can significantly improve its lifespan. Before placing tempeh in the freezer, make sure it’s in a tightly sealed plastic container to keep it safe. If you follow these instructions, it’ll last for at least a week.

To Wrap Up

In conclusion, tempeh does go bad after some time, just like any other food. Tempeh that has not been opened may be refrigerated for about 5 to 7 days beyond the “sell-by” date printed on the packaging if it has been stored properly.

If you’re purchasing tempeh for the first time, be sure to look at the expiry date and use it within a day or two after getting it. You can find plenty of tempeh recipes online to help you use it up just in time.

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