How to make your own tempeh starter culture at home

There are plenty of reasons to make tempeh at home. The most important would be It’s more tasty when you will it yourself. But not in every place can you buy the tempeh starter culture, or yeast. (In Indonesia it’s called Ragi). You can scroll down immediately to the YouTube video which shows detailed instructions on how to make it. However it’s also interesting to read some of the thoughts behind the steps.

Because it’s not available in every place, but very simple to make tempeh and the starter culture at home. I am going to share how to do this. To make the yeast at home, I will have to sacrifice one tempeh for it. With this we’ll grow the spores and gain more of it.

What do you need & the Ingredients

  • Tempeh
  • Rice flour
  • blender
  • strainer

Sacrifice one tempeh

Prepare one tempeh (you don’t need to use all if you intend to use part for cooking. Cut it in thin slices and spread them on a plate. Cover it with a plastic and poke some holes. This is done to increase humidity and so that the spores can breath at the same time. Now cover it with a cloth. Wait 1 day.

The yeast / starter culture after 12 hours

After 12 hours, it’s still too early but results are visible. just keep it covered.

24 hours later

The spores now cover all the tempeh and we’re total of 24 hours later. To increase the yield of the starter culture, I am making a tent from the plastic. This allows for more spore growth.

36 hours later, fluffy spores covering the tempeh

fluffy spores covering the tempeh

We’re a total of 36 hours later now. and it looks like the image. If you aren’t at this stage yet, just wait a bit more until it looks like this. It is now ready for the next step. Drying.

Drying the tempeh starter culture / yeast

The process of making the spores grow made it a bit wet. We would need to remove this moist.

Time to dry the tempeh and it’s spore. I just put it under the sun. If the sun is not shining, just do it in a dry warm place of the house. Under a lamp for example could work. The time differs for how long you would nee to dry it. But the condense / water drops would need to dissappear.

Blending the tempeh

When it’s dry, put it in a blender. You can cut it in small pieces to help this process. Start slow and go faster. Make sure not to overheat your blender!

Strain the powder

Strain the contents of the blender. You should have a fine powder. You can mix 1 teaspoon of this with 1 teaspoon of rice flour. The ratio is 1:1.

Test your tempeh starter

For 300 gr soy beans I uses 2 teaspoons of the tempeh starter, and 2 teaspoons of rice flour. The full recipe on how to make tempeh from scratch It works, and the result is super delicious. I think you can also make this simple recipe for tempeh starter. Store it in a cool, dry and dark place. But do not refrigerate it.

The recipe summary

Tempeh starter culture, yeast

How to make the tempeh starter culture at home.
Prep Time1 d 16 hrs
Active Time15 mins
Total Time1 d 16 hrs 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indonesian
Keyword: Tempeh starter, tempeh starter culture
Yield: 10 gram
Cost: 0.5


  • 1 blender
  • 1 strainer


  • 1 piece tempeh
  • 1 spoon rice flour


  • cut the tempeh in thin slices
  • cover with plastic and poke holes
  • cover with table cloth
  • wait 36+ hours
  • dry the tempeh
  • blend the dried tempeh
  • strain the blended tempeh
  • add equal parts of rice flour to the tempeh starter
  • store in a dry cool place like a cupboard



Making your own tempeh started will have lots of benefits. This is the easiest way I found to make it. Some places it’s hard to find this specific yeast, but you can buy the product. So for you, you can use this recipe to make your own. Good luck
About Fleurdwi Cooking

Hi, my name is Dwik. My hobby is cooking, I have worked in an Indonesian-Chinese restaurant for 4 years giving me different experiences regarding types of cuisine. I created this website to share my experiences about food and also the recipes that I have uploaded on my youtube channel Fleurdwi Cooking If you are a YouTuber with a cooking channel, you are welcome to join to write your recipe, where the recipe will be linked to your channel automatically. For more detailed information, please read the About section. Please send an email if you want to join us. Thank You

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