What s the main difference Between Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan

 

3 Most Popular Types of Meat Replacements: Tofu, Tempeh and Seitan

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Is SEITAN bad for you?!

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Tofu vs Tempeh / The 3 Things You Need To Know

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Tofu Vs. Tempeh Vs. Seitan

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What’s the difference between tofu, tempeh, and seitan?

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Tofu. Also known as bean or soya curd, tofu is a soft, cheese-like food made of condensed soy milk pressed into tight blocks and mixed with nigari. While this product can be rather bland, tofu easily absorbs flavors of other ingredients, such as spices. Tofu has been a staple in Asian countries for more than 2,000 years!

Unlike tofu and tempeh, seitan is derived from wheat gluten. The product is made by washing dough made from wheat flour until all the starch has been removed, resulting in a sticky mass. Seitan (pronounced say-Tan) differs even more from tofu and tempeh because it’s made from wheat gluten as opposed to soy.

A lesser-known vegetarian protein, seitan is made from gluten, the protein in wheat that gives bread its springy texture. (While it is a healthy plant-based option for most people, those with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivities should avoid it.). Seitan. Seitan is very different from tofu and tempeh. Seitan isn’t made from soy beans but from wheat flour and water.

By rinsing the dough with a special technique only the wheat-protein, or the gluten, remains. These gluten are boiled in water or a vegetable broth until a spongy texture is formed with a (depending on the broth) savory taste. Unlike tofu and tempeh, it is not made from soy, so it is an excellent option if you’re trying to avoid or cut down on soy products.

Avoid it all costs if you are following a gluten-free diet though. Seitan is the most similar to the look and consistency of meat. It is brown in color and has a chewy texture. Seitan differs from tempeh and tofu in that it isn’t made from soy.

It’s actually made from wheat, and more specifically gluten. Some even refer to it as “wheat meat.” It’s high in protein as wel. The difference is that tofu and tempeh are easy to find in grocery stores. Seitan on the other hand won’t be called “seitan”, but many mock meats in the vegan/tofu section of stores have meat substitutes that are made from vital wheat gluten (the main requirement of being called seitan). However, most people make their own seitan.

Seitan and tempeh are both loved by vegan athletes, since they are two of the best sources of plant-based protein. They are also both foods that I never heard of before going vegan. Turns out, I was missing out. I’m going to break down the main differences between seitan and tempeh in terms of taste and nutrition, so [ ]. Secondly, there is a vast difference in nutritional value between unfermented and fermented soy.

Thirdly, the industrial processing and ubiquitous genetic modification of American soy plays a huge role. To explore this issue further, let’s compare two popular soy types: tofu (which is unfermented) and tempeh (a fermented, whole food soy product). Tempeh and tofu are processed soy products. Tofu, which is more widespread, is made from coagulated soy milk pressed into solid white blocks.

It’s available in a variety of textures, including.

List of related literature:

Seitan is like tofu, in that it is a formed block

“Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food” by Jeff Potter
from Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food
by Jeff Potter
O’Reilly Media, 2010

The flavor of tempeh ranges from nutty and subtle to smoky and tangy.

“Culinary Nutrition: The Science and Practice of Healthy Cooking” by Jacqueline B. Marcus
from Culinary Nutrition: The Science and Practice of Healthy Cooking
by Jacqueline B. Marcus
Elsevier Science, 2013

Tempeh differs from tofu it has a denser firmer composition, a mushroom-like aroma and is higher in fiber.

“Linda Page's Healthy Healing: A Guide To Self-Healing For Everyone” by Linda Page
from Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide To Self-Healing For Everyone
by Linda Page
Healthy Healing Publications, 2004

In this book, when I call for seitan, I mean regular,

“The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet” by Alicia Silverstone, Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
from The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet
by Alicia Silverstone, Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
Rodale Books, 2011

Meat substitutes may be made from textured vegetable protein (TVP), soy protein (tofu and tempeh), wheat gluten (seitan), and even fungi (Quorn) among other ingredients.

“The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great” by Dr. Eric C. Westman, Dr. Stephen D. Phinney, Dr. Jeff S. Volek
from The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great
by Dr. Eric C. Westman, Dr. Stephen D. Phinney, Dr. Jeff S. Volek
Atria Books, 2010

The difference between the two is that firm tofu is harder than regular tofu.

“Asian Foods: Science and Technology” by Catharina Y.W. Ang, Keshun Liu, Yao-Wen Huang
from Asian Foods: Science and Technology
by Catharina Y.W. Ang, Keshun Liu, Yao-Wen Huang
Taylor & Francis, 1999

Another food you can use as a substitution while transitioning to a whole food, plant­based diet is tofu, which is available in varying consistencies, from very soft to extra firm (for slicing and crumbling).

“The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes” by LeAnne Campbell, T. Colin Campbell, Steven Campbell Disla
from The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes
by LeAnne Campbell, T. Colin Campbell, Steven Campbell Disla
BenBella Books, Incorporated, 2013

These flavor differences are most pronounced when the tofu is served fresh in its least disguised forms, such as Chilled Tofu or Simmering Tofu.

“Tofu & Soymilk Production: A Craft and Technical Manual” by William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi
from Tofu & Soymilk Production: A Craft and Technical Manual
by William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi
Soyfoods Center, 2000

Tempeh differs from tofu it has a denser firmer texture, and is higher in fiber.

“Linda Page's Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-healing for Everyone” by Linda G. Rector-Page
from Linda Page’s Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-healing for Everyone
by Linda G. Rector-Page
Traditional Wisdom, 2000

In its raw state, tempeh has a bland, beany, mushroom‐like flavor.

“Microbiology and Technology of Fermented Foods” by Robert W. Hutkins
from Microbiology and Technology of Fermented Foods
by Robert W. Hutkins
Wiley, 2018

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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14 comments

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  • I can’t explain it but most of the time I criticized unknown bloggers or YouTuber’s but as soon as I saw you I liked you and I can’t explain it so congratulations keep it up

  • im not vegan nor vegetarian. But tempeh is in the top of my menu and tofu is the second. So if you dont like tempeh.. maybe you tried the wrong tempeh.. just search the real one

  • Just had Tempeh for the first time tonight and anyone who knows me knows I will eat anything but I couldn’t eat it, it’s awful, just my opinion, yuk….

  • I’m probably going to sound dumb. But….. how do you tell if the tempeh is good. Everytime I go to the store and look they date are all good but when I look at the tempeh it looks moldy. Is this normal? The ones that are at the stores near me are the same brand you got in this video. Thank you for any suggestions.

  • Seitan is not a fairly new product. It’s been eaten in China, Japan, Korea, Russia and the Middle East for thousands of years. The word seitan is of Japanese origin and was coined in 1961 by George Ohsawa, a Japanese advocate of the macrobiotic diet, to refer to a wheat gluten product created by Ohsawa’s student Kiyoshi Mokutani.

  • I hope you try tempeh made with leave banana, the taste is deferend than tempeh made with plastic. If you visit indonesia tempeh in there is the best.

  • Various Types of Tempeh:
    Soy Tempeh (The most popular type of tempeh)
    Green Beans or Red Beans Tempeh
    Rubber Seeds Tempeh
    Cassava Leafs Tempeh
    Tempeh Gembus (Tempeh gembus is tempeh that comes from tofu waste with a savory taste and soft texture).
    Tempeh Menjes (Peanuts Tempeh)
    Lupine Seeds Tempeh

  • I have been eating seitan since I was little….you have to wash it until the water is clear….the water of the first washed in heat up and use it as glue for my art and craft.

  • My Italian grandmother said that they used to use this as a meat substitute 100 years ago because no one ate meat the way they do now or could afford it. She used to make it as chicken Parmesan. Absolutely fantastic

  • hey can u do a video on what u eat in a day? I am new to this life style and trying to figure out whst to eat. thanks for the information.

  • I just had some chicken Seitan from a grocery store and it was great. Meat flavor without hurting an innocent animal. I love it.

  • Sorry, I didn’t like this video because as a vegan of 30+ years, I found a lot of errors in your analogy between the two. First, you say tofu isn’t fermented but, in actuality it is. The soymilk is cooled to a certain temperature before it’s lixed with Nigari, or Lemon Juice, etc. The ferment is a short ferment but it’s still a ferment.

    Second, your video almost sounds like you are siding with Weston Price and this is a very slippery slope. Asians have been eating tofu for thousands of years. Tempeh came from the Phillippines where the weather is very hot and the process of making tempeh was stumbled onto as many great finds are. My point is, Asians have been eating tofu for thousands of years. Many Japanese eat tofu three times a day. But the one thing they do, that we don’t, is to always good their tofu with some kombu or iodine rich seaweed. This is because soy, even tempeh, requires iodine for proper absorption. If we don’t have enough iodine in our system, soy can stress out the thryroid looking for it. This is where excess iodine is stored.

    Anyway, maybe next time you will ponder more on what you say before you say it. Colleen Patrick Goudreau has a great video on soy and Mark Messina, PhD has two amazing videos on so and I believe he eloquently touches the fermented vs the whole, and mildly processed tempeh. And, for the record, making tempeh requires more work because we have to dehull the soybeans before we ever mold them. The hulls make or s strange flavor and you have two or three pople who purchased products but they basically did nothing when it came iimt to vote.

  • Great video. I love both options but now realize tempeh is the less processed of the two. Would love to see another video on soy and how often we can eat it each week and hidden soy in products.

  • I’m so glad I found your videos! Starting a year of nutrition health. Starting with probiotics. Next fish oil. Going to buy Tempeh today and trying one of your recipes. Thanks!