Maple & Ivy Tempeh

Making tempeh is something I miss a lot here in New England. Originated in tropical Indonesia, not so many Indonesians make tempeh in countries with 4-season after they move out.However, making tempeh brings a wholy different sensation than just cooking and eating it. You never make any same tempeh. The way you touch, boil, soak, stir, pack, and store would affect how it is formed. Relying on the white mold Rhizopus spp. to grow and unite the beans together, any other germs on your hands, bowl, plastic, leaves would add a new dimension of diversity, compounds, and taste. An example, Indonesian tempeh commonly contains Vitamin B12, produced by Klebsiella who comes from not-sterile water.

Watching the foliage of New England fall outside, a banana leaf-covered tempeh crossed my mind. Why not these beautiful maple leaves?

I took a stroll and collected few maple and ivy leaves, and worked on it in the kitchen. Japanese food and origami took part in this creative process. How they combine both inspired me to find a new and natural way to fold the leaves into a pocket that can encase the beans. 

After two days of incubation, the solid white tangled beans formed, rewarding this experience of art, science, and culture.

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