Distinguishing Tempeh from Tofu

Tofu and tempeh are both soy-based products known for their health benefits, including being good sources of protein and acting as substitutes for meat products without the high cholesterol associated with meats and dairy. However, there are several differences between the two.

Key Takeaways

  • Tofu is tasteless and made by curdling soy milk, while tempeh has a meaty flavor and is made through fermentation of soybeans.
  • Tofu has a smooth, wet appearance and is more fibrous, whereas tempeh has a dry texture and a brownish-grey appearance.
  • Tempeh has a higher protein content and calorific value than tofu, making tofu a preferred food item for those looking to lose weight.

Tofu, also known as soy cheese or bean curd, is a food product obtained from soybeans and resembles cheese made from milk. It is full of proteins and can be used in a vegan diet to replace beef and other meats while still providing high protein content. Tofu is low in fat and cholesterol and is made from water, soybeans, and a curdling agent that acts as a coagulant.

Tempeh, on the other hand, is a high-protein food product obtained from fermented soybeans, which results in a brownish hardened cake. It has a meaty flavor and is often preferred by non-vegetarians as a substitute for meats in their diet. Tempeh originated in Indonesia and is considered a staple vegetarian food product due to its earthy flavor and high nutritional value. To make tempeh, soybeans are soaked in water, cooked lightly, mixed with vinegar, and allowed to ferment in the presence of a fungus for 24-36 hours at around 30 degrees Celsius.

In terms of appearance, tofu is white in color with a smooth, wet appearance and a spongy texture, while tempeh is brownish-grey with a dry texture and a firm consistency. Tofu is Chinese in origin and is more versatile than tempeh, as it is flavorless and can be used to make sweet dishes.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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