Alright. Let’s get down to business.
What’s the difference between tofu & tempeh, how can you cook them, what tastes better and is one better for you than the other?
I’m breaking things down for you here!
Tofu is made by soaking soybeans & extracting the milk, a coagulant is then added to turn said mik into curds. These curds are then pressed into tofu, most often in the form of blocks.
Tofu, unlike tempeh, comes in a variety of consistencies, from soft to medium, firm, extra firm and even smoked.
Because of this, you can make a variety of different dishes from various types. With the exception of the smoked variety, tofu doesn’t actually have much flavour, so I find it’s all about how you prepare tofu that makes the dish.
When it comes to smoked tofu I love a sandwich (like the Banh Mi pictured below) or a simple dish, like veggie stir fry, to add some serious flavour. Soft tofu is great to replicate an egg in an asian style dish, while I find medium tofu is perfect for tofu scramble in lieu of scrambled eggs. To cube and bake, or marinate to your preferred flavour for a stir fry, my go to is firm or extra firm tofu.
Tempeh is made from cooked, fermented soybeans. In this case, the beans are kept whole, and aren’t ground up like they are for tofu. After its undergone the fermentation process, it’s formed into patty like blocks.
Tempeh has a different texture & flavour palette than tofu. I find it to be subtly nutty in taste, and firmer in texture.
Added bonus: Due to its fermentation, some people find it’s more easily digested than tofu.
Health benefits of one versus the other
In my eyes, Tempeh is a clear winner in the health department. But this isn’t to say that tofu is ‘unhealthy’.
Tofu & Tempeh are great sources of protein. However, tempeh will get you a lot more protein per serving. Tofu’s protein breakdown is approximately 8g protein/per 100g, while tempeh’s is significantly higher at 19g protein/per 100g.
Tempeh is also less processed and is considered more of a ‘whole’ in comparison to tofu. This combined with its fermentation process, means tempeh retains more nutrients than does tofu. I’m going to leave it at that, but if you’re eager for more information on this, there are plenty of resources that dive into tempeh’s processing and it’s nutritional benefits, which outweigh those of tofu.
What’s my favourite?
My personal favourite is still tofu, but I am trying to incorporate tempeh to change things up. I truly believe variety is key, and an important factor to ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins & nutrients to upkeep a healthy vegan diet.
What do you prefer, tofu or tempeh? And what’s your favourite recipe, or way to eat it? Would love if you would share in the comments xx