Does Tempeh Go Bad? A Guide to Tempeh Shelf Life and Storage

Well, the answer is yes, tempeh can go bad. Although it is a fermented food, natural processes will continue to slowly break down the food over time.

But don’t worry, there are a few key signs to look out for to determine if your tempeh has gone bad.

According to several sources, including I Am Going Vegan and Vegans First, the first sign of bad tempeh is a bad smell. Ideally, tempeh should have an earthy or nutty smell coming mainly from the mycelium layer.

If it smells rancid or has a strong odor of pure alcohol or strong ammonia, it’s time to toss it out. In addition to the smell, you should also look for discoloration, mold, or a slimy texture.

What is Tempeh?

If you’re a fan of plant-based protein sources, you’ve probably heard of tempeh. But if you’re new to the world of vegan or vegetarian eating, you might be wondering what this food is all about. Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that originated in Indonesia. It’s made by cooking and fermenting whole soybeans, which are then pressed into a dense cake-like form.

Tempeh has a unique nutty flavor and firm texture that makes it a popular meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan cooking. It’s also a great source of protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals.

Unlike tofu, which is made from soy milk, tempeh is a whole food that retains all of the nutrients and fiber of the soybean. This makes it a more nutritious and filling option for those looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet.

Tempeh is also incredibly versatile. It can be sliced, crumbled, or cubed and used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries and salads to burgers and sandwiches. Plus, it’s a great source of probiotics, which can help support gut health and boost the immune system.

Overall, tempeh is a delicious and nutritious plant-based protein source that’s worth adding to your diet. Whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just looking to incorporate more plant-based foods into your meals, tempeh is a versatile and tasty option that’s sure to satisfy.

How Long Does Tempeh Last?
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Does Tempeh Go Bad?

Signs of Spoiled Tempeh

  • One of the most obvious signs is a bad smell. According to Vegans First, if your tempeh smells rancid or has strong alcohol or ammonium overtones, it’s most likely gone bad. Additionally, if it smells cheesy or has a sour smell, it’s also a sign that it’s gone bad.
  • Another sign of spoiled tempeh is mold growth. If you see any mold on the surface of the tempeh, it’s best to discard it.

Factors Affecting Tempeh Shelf Life

There are several factors that can affect the shelf life of tempeh.

  • One of the main factors is storage temperature. According to Home Kitchen Talk, tempeh should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature between 32°F and 40°F to maximize its shelf life.
  • Additionally, the type of packaging can also affect the shelf life of tempeh. Vacuum-sealed packaging can help extend the shelf life of tempeh by reducing the amount of oxygen that comes into contact with the product.
  • The freshness of the soybeans used to make the tempeh can also affect its shelf life. If the soybeans are not fresh, the tempeh may spoil more quickly.
  • Finally, the amount of moisture in the tempeh can also affect its shelf life. If the tempeh is too moist, it may spoil more quickly.

Tempeh Expiration Date

Most tempeh packages come with an expiration date printed on the packaging. According to Home Kitchen Talk, tempeh typically lasts for up to 10 days in the refrigerator, and much longer in the freezer.

However, it’s important to note that the expiration date is just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule.

It’s always a good idea to check your tempeh before consuming it, even if it’s within the expiration date.

How to Store Tempeh

Refrigerating Tempeh

Here are some tips:

  • Store tempeh in an airtight container or resealable bag to prevent air from drying it out.
  • Wrap tempeh in parchment or wax paper to allow air circulation in the fridge. This is especially important if your tempeh has not been pasteurized.
  • Make sure the tempeh is dry before storing it. Excess moisture can cause it to spoil more quickly.

By following these tips, your tempeh will stay fresh and ready to use for up to 10 days.

Freezing Tempeh

Here’s how:

  • Wrap the tempeh tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • Place the wrapped tempeh in an airtight container or resealable bag.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Store the tempeh in the freezer for up to 6 months.

It may be slightly softer than fresh tempeh, but it will still be delicious and nutritious.

Tempeh Storage Tips

Here are some additional tips to help you store tempeh:

  • Always check the expiration date before buying tempeh. If it’s close to expiring, use it as soon as possible.
  • Store tempeh in the coldest part of the refrigerator, usually the back or bottom shelf.
  • If you notice any mold or a foul odor, discard the tempeh immediately.
  • Tempeh can also be stored in the pantry, but it will spoil more quickly than if stored in the refrigerator. Only store tempeh in the pantry if you plan to use it within a day or two.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to store tempeh properly and enjoy it in all your favorite recipes.

How Long Does Tempeh Last?

Shelf Life of Fresh Tempeh

To prevent it from drying out or taking on other food smells, make sure it’s stored in a sealed container or wrapped tightly in plastic.

If you don’t plan to consume it within seven days, freezing it is an excellent way to make it last longer.

According to Courageous Kitchen, fresh tempeh can last up to 3 months in the freezer if stored properly in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Shelf Life of Cooked Tempeh

Tempeh that has been cooked can be kept in the fridge for up to seven days as long as it is stored properly in an airtight container or securely sealed with plastic wrap.

If you have leftovers that won’t be eaten within the week, you can stick them in the freezer to keep them good for longer. For example, cooked tempeh can keep for up to two months if stored appropriately.

For the best results when saving cooked tempeh, let it cool to room temperature prior to refrigerating or freezing it.

Can You Freeze Tempeh?

You can absolutely preserve tempeh in the freezer to increase its longevity! Fresh tempeh can stay safe to eat for up to three months when stored in an airtight container or freezer bag.

How Long Does Tempeh Last After Opening?

You can keep an opened package of tempeh in the refrigerator for a maximum of seven days.

Remember to always store tempeh in a sealed container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any odors from other foods in the fridge.

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