The Difference Between Tofu and Tempeh

Soy Wars: Tofu vs. Tempeh

Whether you're a vegetarian or not, everyone can benefit from regularly eating meatless meals. Soy products are healthy sources of protein and they're a great alternative when trying to cut back on meat and dairy products, which are high in cholesterol.

Tofu and tempeh are both made from soybeans, but is one healthier than the other? Check out this chart comparison below.

Tofu Tempeh
How it's made By curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant By fermenting cooked soybeans with a mold
How it's sold Five inch-sized blocks, in five varieties: silken (used for creamy dishes), soft (great for soups), firm, and extra firm (the last three are great for stir fries); packaged in water to help it stay moist Flat rectangular pieces about eight inches long
Appearance White, smooth, and wet Brownish in color and dry; can see the whole soybeans
Consistency Soft, smooth, and spongy Firm and chewy
Flavor Has hardly any taste on its own, but when added to recipes, takes on the flavor of whatever you're making Has a slight earthy sweet taste
Calories in 1/2 cup 97 160
Protein (g) in 1/2 cup 10.1 15.4
Fiber (g) in 1/2 cup .5 3.5

Since tempeh is less processed than tofu, it's healthier in general containing more protein and fiber than tofu. If you've never tried tempeh, you can find it at most health food stores (it's refrigerated). Incorporate this soy product into your recipes by crumbling it up and adding it to soups, casseroles, and your pasta sauce. Tempeh adds a chewy consistency to your dishes along with extra protein and fiber.