Difference Between Tofu and Tempeh

Difference Between Tofu and Tempeh
Photo by 621hjmit

The jury is still out when it comes to telling the difference between tofu and tempeh; fans of both plant-based proteins are looking for which provides the most benefits.

While both are awesome meat alternatives, they’re quite different in taste, texture, production method, and more.

Generally, tempeh tastes better than tofu. But if you’ve been a tofu fan from the start, your favorite meat alternative still has the upper hand in other areas.

For instance, it can absorb the flavor of whatever food you add it to. So, it’s still a win-win situation.

We’ve outlined the difference between tofu and tempeh to help you decide which plant-based protein gives you the most benefit for your buck.

Production Process

One major difference between tofu and tempeh is the production process. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk with an enzyme.

Tempeh is a firm cake or block produced from fermented soybeans. 

Method of Packaging

Tofu blocks come in five distinct packaging options: 

  • Soft: mainly used in soups 
  • Silky: primarily used in creamy dishes 
  • Firm 
  • Extra-firm: used in stir-fries or for deep frying 
  • Water: this keeps it wet.

Tempeh comes in rectangular eight-inch slices.

Difference between Tofu and Tempeh: How they look like

Tofu comes in various colors, the most common of which are white and cream. Tempeh is often brown, and depending on the recipe, you might see the actual beans utilized in the manufacturing process.

How Thick is Tempeh compared to tofu?

Another clear difference between tofu and tempeh is the texture. Tofu is a mushy, cheese-like substance. Temper has a chewy texture and is quite firm. 

How is Tofu Flavor different from tempeh?

Tofu has no flavor; it has nearly no taste on its own. As a result, it is commonly used to absorb flavors in hot meals. Tempeh has a sweet and earthy flavor. 

Tofu is far more widely available than tempeh. You’ve undoubtedly heard of or eaten tofu, but not tempeh because it’s less common. 

What is tempeh?

Tempeh is made from whole soybeans that have been simmered, fermented, and formed into a cake. This classic Indonesian dish includes nuts, brown rice, seeds, and legumes. They have a nutty flavor to them. They’re also an excellent substitute for meats, eggs, and other proteins. 

This whole soybean product has varieties of nutritional properties. Furthermore, tempeh’s fermentation technique produces a greater protein, fiber, and vitamin content. It has a solid texture and an earthy flavor that grows stronger with age. 

What is Tofu?

They prepare tofu from curdled soy milk and cooked soybeans. They drain and make the curds into a cake. Tofu is a soybean-based food that originated in China and has since spread. 

It is one of the few plant-based meals that deliver a full supply of protein. It has also become trendy as a meat substitute. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it’s cholesterol-free and low in trans fats. 

Tofu has a unique flavor on its own, but it absorbs the flavors of the other things it’s cooked with. It’s perfect for aromatic recipes like stir-fries and soups because of this.


Tofu and tempeh are two awesome meat alternatives you should try. Although some people might choose one over the other, it’s best you try them out to help you decide. With this guide, you’ll surely know the difference between tofu and tempeh when next you go out shopping.

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