If you love tofu, you’ve probably heard of tempeh – a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans that comes in a block. The nuttier and heftier cousin to tofu, it’s packed with protein and makes a great meat substitute for all your favourite recipes.
For this week’s edition of ‘8Shades Of’, we’re talking to June Ng, the founder of Tempehola, who make handcrafted organic tempeh right here in Hong Kong. Find out more about June’s passion for sustainability, her best eco-habits and favourite ways to cook tempeh:
1. In one sentence, tell us what you do!
I am a vegan entrepreneur dedicated to making tempeh mainstream. Tempeh is one of the most under-valued superfoods in the world; it’s an all-natural plant-based protein made with simple, whole-food ingredients that is high in protein, low-carb, gluten-free, and a good source of vitamins and minerals.
2. Why are you an 8Shader?
My journey began nine years ago when I came across an article about food sustainability. As I became more aware of the climate crisis and the environmental impact of animal agriculture, I decided to adopt a plant-based diet and live more sustainably by reducing waste, saving energy, and consuming more locally sourced organic food.
3. Your best eco habit?
My best eco habit is my plant-based journey, which has inspired me to start Tempehola and share the health benefits of this amazingly nutritious and delicious superfood.
4. Guilty not-so-green habit?
My not-so-green habit is the plastic packaging used for our organic tempeh. It’s not ideal and we’re seeking alternative solutions.
5. Fave eco product?
Reusable menstrual pads! After realising that disposable pads take up to 800 years to decompose, I switched to reusable pads.
See also: 8 Eco Period Products That Won’t Cramp Your Style
6. Fave veggie dish in HK?
My favourite veggie dishes are the vegan thali from Woodlands in TST and the green curry from Thai Vegetarian Food in Kowloon City.
7. What are your favourite ways to eat tempeh?
Tempeh contains double the protein of tofu and has a firm, meaty texture, which can be used in a variety of dishes such as teriyaki tempeh, tempeh bolognese, or even a tempeh steak.
My personal favourite would have to be the teriyaki tempeh! It’s super easy to make: cut thin slices of tempeh and marinate it with onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce, and some ginger for 30 mins. Then pan fry the tempeh until crispy, mix the marinade with a bit of maple syrup and cornstarch, and simmer until the sauce caramelises.
Check out more recipes on our Instagram @tempehola!
See also: Where To Eat Plant-Based & Vegan Food In Hong Kong
8. What shade of green are you?
I would say I am a medium shade of green because sustainability is a journey that requires long-term commitment. The most important thing is self-awareness – being aware of the impacts of our decisions and how our actions can make a difference.
Sign up for the 8Shades weekly newsletter for exclusive access to VIP events, giveaways and updates!
See also: 8Shades Of… Laura Offe, co-founder of Meraki Hospitality