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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Asian Cooking / Tempeh or Tofu?
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    Tempeh or Tofu?

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    CookbookCarrie
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:05 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    What is the difference between Tempeh and Tofu..is there a difference? Can you sub tofu in recipes that call for tempeh?

    Thanks..I'm slowly learning..(bought my 2nd package of firm tofu today and rice vinegar) Trying to stock up my "asian" pantry items
    mianbao
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:33 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Hi, Carrie

    That's an interesting question. I was 15 years old when I ate my first tofu as part of a birthday dinner for me at an Okinawan restaurant. At the time, it seemed sort of like an egg custard, that had soaked up the flavor of the broth it was in. To me, (after many long years), tofu seems like that.

    I have never even seen tempeh, though I guess if I looked for Indonesian ingredients I might find it somewhere in Tokyo.

    I did a quick google. According to a couple of sites (the information on tempeh - I don't know how reliable they are):

    Both are made from soy beans. Tempeh is fermented, tofu is not. Tempeh is chewy, tofu is not. Tempeh tastes like mushrooms, tofu does not.

    So, as far as substitutions are concerned, I can only hope someone else has an answer.

    BTW, someone mentioned Hot and Spicy Soup as a nice use for tofu.
    CookbookCarrie
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:53 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I made Hot and Sour Soup with Tofu for my first attempt at tofu cooking. It was excellent, but at that time I didnt realize you need to "drain" tofu before you use it...(place on paper towels and weight it down?) so the tofu was a bit soft, but very good.

    Thanks for the info! I'll keep investigating!
    Aariq Skought
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:56 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    tempeh is dense, and sometimes individual soy beans are distinguishable. It's like a bunch of soybeans were left to ferment and then pressed into a cake. It has a fermented taste (not gross like nato though). I personally don't like it. They're definitely not interchangable in recipes.
    Jenny Sanders
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:27 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Tempeh is disgusting.

    Okay; that's harsh. Let me try again: tempeh is an acquired taste, and I feel no desire to acquire it. It consists of a cake of soybeans soaked until they go moldy and cling together.

    Okay, that's harsh too. I'm sure it's a more controlled culinary process than that. It's just that that's what it tastes like.

    Um, what can I say? icon_confused.gif Tempeh is disgusting. icon_razz.gif

    Tofu, on the other hand, has a smooth texture, varying in consistency from custard-like to cheese-like, and a clean, fresh, bland-to-slightly-beany flavour. Not terribly exciting on its own, but a great soaker-upper of sauces and flavours. Tofu is good. icon_cool.gif

    p.s. It is a terrible insult to the good name of mushrooms to claim tempeh tastes like mushrooms. It tastes like mold. yuck.gif Mushrooms are good. icon_cool.gif
    mianbao
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:39 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Jenny Sanders wrote:
    Tempeh is disgusting.

    Okay; that's harsh. Let me try again: tempeh is an acquired taste, and I feel no desire to acquire it. It consists of a cake of soybeans soaked until they go moldy and cling together.

    Okay, that's harsh too. I'm sure it's a more controlled culinary process than that. It's just that that's what it tastes like.

    Um, what can I say? icon_confused.gif Tempeh is disgusting. icon_razz.gif

    Tofu, on the other hand, has a smooth texture, varying in consistency from custard-like to cheese-like, and a clean, fresh, bland-to-slightly-beany flavour. Not terribly exciting on its own, but a great soaker-upper of sauces and flavours. Tofu is good. icon_cool.gif

    p.s. It is a terrible insult to the good name of mushrooms to claim tempeh tastes like mushrooms. It tastes like mold. yuck.gif Mushrooms are good. icon_cool.gif


    Okay, okay, I was just quoting the (very complimentary of tempeh) website.
    Nolita_Food
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:50 am
    Food.com Groupie
    icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif
    I happen to like both. Well, my dad insists we have tofu every dinner, and he and my mom probably knows a few million ways to make tofu interesting. I didn't eat tempeh until I got here. I like it sauted in sauce, because otherwise it's quite bland.
    Another note, I do think it taste a bit like mushroom. Jenny, you can definitely hit me now. icon_lol.gif That's how I feel when people say all strange meats taste like chicken.
    Bergy
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:17 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Tempeh is wonderful - you can do so much with it - There are 4 types available here in BC all made by Turtle Island- Indonesian Style,Organic Soy Tempeh (they are all Soy), Veggie Tempeh This is soy based but has some veggies & Edamame Soybeans, & 5 grain Tempeh. They all have slightly different flavors
    I always store my tempeh in the freezer as it will mold very quickly and then it will have an "off" flavor.Defrost in the fridge overnight then steam the tempeh for 10 minutes make whatever recipe you want. You can slice it very thin (like stir fry meat) and use it in a stir fry or you can leave it whole and BBQ it with your favorite sauce, you can skewer it and make kebobs with your favoriye veggies and marinade.
    I have a few tempeh recipes just type in Tempeh there are 25 recipes all told -
    V'nut-Beyond Redemption
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:26 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I like my tempeh sliced thin and fried. Love that stuff. I think it sells S$1 for 3 packets. Yum! icon_cool.gif
    Bergy
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:30 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Velvetinenut wrote:
    I like my tempeh sliced thin and fried. Love that stuff. I think it sells S$1 for 3 packets. Yum! icon_cool.gif


    OOOOh you are lucky it is $3.69 Can for 1 pkg but that is two servings or more if you stir fry it.
    V'nut-Beyond Redemption
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:34 am
    Food.com Groupie
    My ex boss got me a recipe book with instructions on how to make tempeh and the great dishes you could make with it. The problem is it is in Bahasa Indonesia. icon_rolleyes.gif
    Bergy
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:45 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Bergy wrote:
    Velvetinenut wrote:
    I like my tempeh sliced thin and fried. Love that stuff. I think it sells S$1 for 3 packets. Yum! icon_cool.gif


    OOOOh you are lucky it is $3.69 Canadian for 1 pkg but that is two servings or more if you stir fry it.
    mianbao
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:43 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Now you've got me interested (actually I like natto icon_redface.gif ) I'll have to see if I can find it in Tokyo.
    CookbookCarrie
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I think I'll pass on the Tempeh and stick to Tofu. I'd have to mail order Tempeh anyway...and from what people say about it spoiling it sounds like it would be yuck.gif

    Thanks for all your help. I'm going to make something tofu-y this weekend..if I can find an appealing recipe!
    WaterMelon
    Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:51 am
    Food.com Groupie
    i have to agree with Jenny - tempeh is kinda disgusting... to me anyway. And it's readily available here in Singapore and especially Malaysia (where I'm from originally) so the tempeh dishes (stir-fries, pan fried, deep fried, in sambal etc) I tried were actually cooked by people who know what they're doing but I still dislike tempeh immensely. yuck.gif I think it's more of a texture thing to me.

    But tofu is a different species - I love tofu in soup, as dessert, steamed, deep-fried, pan fried - whatever. Just love tofu. icon_smile.gif
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