For the past three years, mother-and-daughter team Beth and Becky Taylor have been selling Texas’ only commercially made tempeh, a protein- and potassium-rich meat substitute made with fermented beans in a tradition that has its roots in Indonesia.

The fermentation makes legumes easier to digest and increases the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients inside, and the dense, chewy cake is heartier than even firm tofu.

Most tempeh is made with soybeans, but the Austin-based Hearty Vegan sells four kinds: traditional (made with organic, non-GMO soybeans), black-eyed pea tempeh and mild and spicy tempeh sausage, which is gluten-free. (The first two products are sold in the freezer section of stores, while the sausage is in the refrigerated section.)

Beth Taylor says they are working on a black bean tempeh, a black-eyed pea breakfast sausage and tempeh "bacon."

Hearty Vegan tempeh can be found at Wheatsville Food Coop, Whole Foods Markets, People’s Pharmacy, Greenling Organic Delivery, Farmhouse Delivery and in restaurants including Bouldin Creek, Counter Culture, Java Noodle and in the prepared foods section of Wheatsville. You can also order directly from the company at theheartyvegan@gmail.com.

You can cook tempeh in a number of ways, including in the oven or on a grill, and this meatball recipe from the Hearty Vegan showcases its versatility as a meat substitute. For more information and recipes, go to heartyvegan.com.

Asian Meatballs

1 lb. tempeh

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer

1 tsp. sesame oil

1/2 cup Panko

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

For the sauce:

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1/8 cup rice vinegar

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Simmer tempeh in soy sauce and enough water to cover for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool. While the tempeh is simmering, whisk together the egg replacer and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until viscous like an egg.

Crumble tempeh into a large bowl and combine with egg replacer and all other meatball ingredients. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-17 minutes.

To make the sauce, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over warm meatballs and gently stir until covered.

— The Hearty Vegan