Difference Between Tofu and Tempeh

Lately, the world has turned towards more of a healthy lifestyle than following the reckless diet. Being two of the best alt-meat options available, Tofu and Tempeh rule the world of vegan guts.


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Tofu and Tempeh both track their source back to Soya. As demand for rich sources of plant-based protein is increasing every day, soon the demand for Soya, in particular, will reach the sky.

Tofu vs Tempeh

The difference between tofu and tempeh is that, while both trace back their source from soya and provide a rich source of plant-based protein, Tofu is generally seen as a white block of coagulated soy milk, whereas Tempeh on other hand is seen as a cake of fermented soybeans.

Tofu vs Tempeh

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Tofu is a form of thick curd made from soybean. Generally given the shape to look like a white spongy brick. Being a rich source of protein and low in calories, tofu is often consumed as post-gym food.

Today it is consumed in almost every part of the world, but it dates back to its origin in China. Making tofu has three major steps, that is, first, extracting the soya milk, second, coagulating it, and then, giving it the shape of blocks.

Tempeh is the cake of fermented soybeans. Being originally made in Indonesia by Javanese people, it is one of the famous cuisines available there.

A fungus called “Rhizopus oligosporus” is used in the fermentation of soybeans, which is ultimately made as tempeh. Tempeh is a rich source of protein. Because of its amazing taste, it is considered the best alternative for meat.

Comparison Table

 Parameters of Comparison  TofuTempeh
StructureTofu is generally structured as a spongy/jelly-like white brick or block.Tempeh is mostly structured as a cuboid-shaped nutty cake.
Origin Tofu dates back its origin in China.Tempeh was originally prepared by Javanese people as a cuisine in Indonesia.
Recipe The first step towards making tofu is extracting soymilk, then coagulating it to make curd out of it, then molded into a block shape.The first step towards making tempeh is, fermentation of soy seeds by rhizopus, then molded into a cake shape.
Rich inTofu is a rich source of protein, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium. which helps in lowering cholesterol.Tempeh is a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. This helps in the digestion process.
TasteTofu is tasteless on its own, has a spongy thick texture.Tempeh is the second meat, it has a nutty and crunchy taste.

What is Tofu?

Tofu is a thick, spongy, block-shaped soya curd. A kind of cuisine which originated in China, and now is eaten all over the world. It is the white block of protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

The term “tofu” comes from the mandarin word “doufu” or the Japanese word “tofu” which means curd made from beans.

Tofu comes from a plant of soybeans, thus considered as one of the best alt meats or sources of protein by vegans. You will observe dieticians and gym trainers suggesting tofu as post-gym food, due to its nature of providing maximum protein in minimum calories.

Tofu is tasteless, it is eaten by air frying it or just by seasoning it with chilies and other spices. It is made by coagulating the soy milk up to density at which it can be molded into a block shape.

Tofu is also sold in the market in processed form, as pickle tofu, freezer tofu, kori tofu, etc. It has a very versatile nature, which can fit it into any dish, and make it more tasty and special.

For starters, as Tofu garlic soup or In the main course, as Tofu tacos and also in dessert, as Tofu banana chocolate dips. People use Tofu in every part of their meals.

What is Tempeh?

Tempeh is a form of fermented soybeans. Soybeans are soaked and cooked to ferment it and then mold into cake form. That means, through fungus, we break down the chemical substance of soybeans.

This fermentation is processed by Rhizopus, which is also called Tempeh starter, as it is responsible for starting the recipe of tempeh.

While making it, one should always ensure that it’s fully cooked before molding. As partially cooked tempeh can lead to zero benefits and also can result in indigestion problems.

The word “Tempeh” comes from the Javanese word “tumpi” which means a white-colored batter. Tempeh is considered as second meat, its taste majorly matches the nutty crunchy taste of meat.

Next time you miss that chicken burger of your favorite burger shop, You can always go for Tempeh burgers instead.

With a similar taste to meat, tempeh also provides a rich source of protein like meat. Also, it is rich in dietary fibers, of which your gut could use some for keeping the healthy digestion.

Tempeh is also good in serving as a combination with other foods like Marinated Tempeh peanut is loved by many. You will observe Tempeh being served as Burgers, sandwiches too. Tempeh can be eaten as a spicy dish or a sweet dish.

Main Differences Between Tofu and Tempeh

  1. Tofu and Tempeh come from soybean but are differently prepared. Tofu is prepared as a curd, by coagulating soya milk whereas Tempeh is prepared by fermenting soybeans.
  2. The tofu was originally prepared in China, whereas Tempeh is a Javanese cuisine, made in Indonesia.
  3. Tofu is generally structured as a White spongy block of thick curd, whereas Tempeh is a nutty cake of fermented soybeans, presented by wrapping it in banana leaves.
  4. Tofu tastes like nothing, it is tasteless, and thus eaten by seasoning it with spices, whereas, Tempeh taste like nutty beans and is considered as second meat or vegetarian meat.
  5. Tofu and tempeh, both are rich sources of protein but Tofu also provides iron, magnesium, whereas Tempeh has a good number of dietary fibers in it. This means consuming tofu helps your gym diet in check, whereas Tempeh ensures your gut health.
Difference Between Tofu and Tempeh
  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01088476
  2. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/116/1/012026/meta
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