Tempeh isn’t quite as popular as tofu. It’s an acquired taste, and not as well known.
So while it is a lot easier to find than it used to be, it can still be a challenge.
Here are your basic options:
- Most big chains have some form of tempeh (including Kroger and Walmart)
- Specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s typically have a bit better selection of tempeh
- Most health food specialty stores have tempeh, although often at a bit higher price
Which Grocery Section Has Tempeh?
If a store has tempeh, it will almost always be right next to the tofu, which is usually either by the produce or dairy sections.
In the Whole Foods up here, there’s are a bunch of flavors right above the tofu.
Here’s what it will likely look like (from my vegan guide to Whole Foods Market):
Hopefully that will help you find tempeh, it’s an awesome food and protein source for vegans.
Which Tempeh Brands Are The Best?
Unlike tofu, where there are tons of brands, there are only a few main ones for tempeh:
- Lightlife (which Walmart and Trader Joe’s carry)
- Henry’s Tempeh (Widely available in Canada)
- Green Cuisine
- Noble Bean
I believe they’re all vegan, but maybe double check if you buy a flavored version that might have something like honey.
Should You Buy Flavored Tempeh?
Tempeh can have a weird, bitter taste, particularly if you buy the “original” plain versions. That’s because most people don’t know to steam the tempeh for about 10 minutes before frying it, which makes a huge difference.
Alternatively, a good marinade or sauce will cover up most of the taste of tempeh.
If you’re okay with that option, it’s up to you if you’d like to buy a pre-flavored package of tempeh. In my experience, the flavors aren’t too strong and you’ll have to add more flavoring ingredients anyways, but it may save you some time.