Rhizopus Oligosporus

I make tofu every week and the process also produces whey and okara. The whey is good for using as part of a veggie stock and for baking, but I still always have a lot left over. Apparently it can also be used as an ingredient in soap, so I'm going to try that one day.

Okara is a kind of fluffy mash that can be used in bread or for making veggie patties and the like, but I've never really liked the results. Then I read that it can be used to make tempeh, so I ordered some tempeh starter and I made a simple incubator out of an eskie (cooler), a thermostat, and some light bulbs.

Tempeh is basically mold grown on a substrate, usually soy beans. It's a certain kind of mold called rhizopus oligosporus. The mold grows and creates a solid white mass around the substrate, binding it into a block that's easily cut and cooked. For the mold to grow optimally it has be at within a certain temperature range, hence the need for an incubator. Growing it non-optimally is fine too, but I like to build things. ^___^

Anyway, I made my first batch yesterday and it came out perfectly. It's going to be dinner tonight.

Next I want to try to make natto.

Because I'm a dork I just had to make a sticker to go on the incubator:

I love that I can make full use of soy beans without wasting anything. Just three cups of soy beans produces enough soymilk, tofu, and tempeh to last a week. I'm going to write up how to make all this stuff soon.


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