I’m going to try and explain what tofu, tempeh, and seitan are for those who do not know. Before anyone swoops in with the dangers of processed foods or the “Isn’t soy bad for you?” questions, please be aware that some people are still learning and anything that’s over processed can be bad for you, so please don’t demonize soy because some of them are GMO- that’s not the case for all.
Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are all excellent sources of protein and great alternatives to meat.
1⃣ TOFU made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. There are two main kinds of tofu, silken or soft tofu, and firm or regular tofu.
2⃣ TEMPEH is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a patty, similar to a very firm veggie burger. Many commercially prepared brands add other grains, such as barley, and also add spices and extra flavors. Although tempeh is made from soy, it has a unique taste and is mildly flavorful on it’s own, unlike tofu. If you aren’t fond of tofu, tempeh is also very high in protein and calcium, as well as beneficial isoflavones, but tastes nothing like tofu. Tempeh has a textured and nutty flavor.
3⃣ SEITAN: Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called “wheat meat”, “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”, seitan becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute. Seitan is also high in protein, making it a popular protein source for vegetarians. Asian restaurants often use seitan as a vegetarian mock meat, and seitan is also the base for several commercially available products such as Tofurky deli slices. Seitan can be prepared by hand using either whole wheat flour or vital wheat gluten and is made by rinsing away the starch in the wheat, leaving a high-protein gluten behind. #vegansofig