Tofu is a classic vegetarian food that has been enjoyed for over 2000 years but, is tofu always vegan?
The standard block tofu that you will find in your local grocery store is vegan but, there are many other times of tofu products that use animal products during their production or preparation that make them not vegan-friendly.
Can Vegans Eat Tofu
The majority of tofu is vegan-friendly.
There are some lesser-known tofu products that contain ingredients that are not vegan but, the popular silken and block style tofu is vegan.
What Is Tofu
Tofu is a soy protein that is made from condensed soy milk that is pressed into solid blocks.
The process used to make tofu is very similar to the process used to make cheese.
Tofu can be created into a variety of consistencies from an extra firm style that is best used for roasting and sauteeing to a silken texture that is similar to pudding.
Is Tofu A Vegetable
Tofu is made from soybeans which are included in the beans and legumes family making tofu, not a vegetable.
Is Tofu Considered Plant-Based
Tofu is considered plant-based.
Those that follow a plant-based diet eat mainly plants with meat and processed food being a minimal part of the diet.
Tofu is a processed product that is made from soy, even though it is plant-based it is best eaten in moderation.
What Is Tofu Actually Made Of
The most common ingredients found in tofu are.
- Calcium Sulfate
- Magnesium Chloride
Many packages of tofu are sitting in a decent amount of water which keeps the block of tofu from drying out.
Besides, the water in the contains the block or silken tofu contains a large amount of water from the production process.
Soybeans are soaked in water, crushed, and boiled when creating the soy milk base used for the tofu.
Soybeans are the main ingredient in tofu.
Due to the pesticides often used on soybeans, and soybeans being genetically modified food, it’s best to only purchase organic tofu.
Calcium Sulfate is a food additive that is often used in foods for a variety of reasons.
You will see calcium sulfate being used to thicken, stabilize, strengthen, regulate ph, dough conditioner, and as an anticaking agent.
Magnesium Chloride is a coagulant that is used to turn the liquid soymilk into solid curds.
Does Tofu Contain Animal Products
There are some tofu products that happen to contain animal products.
The non-vegan ingredients are often used during the production process or a flavoring like honey.
Some non-vegan tofu products are.
- Stinky Tofu
- Frozen Kori Tofu
- Egg Tofu
What Is Stinky Tofu
Stinky Tofu is a popular dish found in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
The tofu is fermented often using dairy milk, shrimp brine, or beef.
This is extremely pungent street food.
What Is Frozen Kori Tofu
Frozen Kori Tofu is freeze-dried tofu, that creates a completely different texture than you would get in a block of tofu.
During the process of making Frozen Kori Tofu, there may be additives that are animal-derived.
What Is Egg Tofu
Egg tofu is Japanese steamed tofu that is made from soymilk, water, and eggs.
Egg Tofu can also go by the name of Japanese Tofu.
Why Is Tofu Not Vegan
The standard block tofu that you will find at your local grocery store is usually vegan-friendly.
Some tofu products are not vegan due to animal products being added during the production or cooking process.
None vegan tofu can be found under the names of Stinky Tofu, Kori Tofu, and egg tofu.
What Textures Does Tofu Come In
Tofu comes in a large variety of textures that can be used in many different ways.
- Extra Firm
- Super Firm
What Is Silken Tofu
Silken tofu has the largest water content of all, giving it a consistency that is close to cream cheese or ricotta.
This smooth tofu is great for making cheesecakes and pudding.
What Is Regular Tofu
Regular tofu is still very soft but is more compact when compared to Silken tofu.
Regular tofu is greatly used as crumbles or as a scrambled egg replacement.
What Is Firm Tofu
Firm tofu may be the most commonly used tofu, it’s more solid when compared to regular tofu.
You can use firm tofu in stir-frys, for roasting, pan-fried, or in soups and stews.
What Is Extra Firm Tofu
Extra-firm tofu contains less water than firm tofu, making it more firm in texture.
You can use extra firm tofu in the same ways as firm tofu but, it may not absorb as much marinade as firm tofu.
What Is Super Firm Tofu
Super Firm tofu is the densest tofu that you can buy.
It makes a great meat placement in many recipes.
Is There Tofu Without Soy In It
You can find non-soy tofu alternatives, some of them are made from using chickpea flour.
If you are not a fan of tofu, there are plenty of other vegan protein options to choose from.
- Fake Meat Products
- Nut Butters
Do Vegans Eat Tofu Everyday
Some vegans may eat tofu every day but, the majority of vegans eat tofu in moderation.
Those of us that love tofu eat it one or two times a week on average.
Although it’s probably safe eating tofu more often, soy has gotten some questionable press in recent years
Can You Be Vegan Without Eating Tofu
You absolutely can be and thrive as a vegan without ever eating tofu.
Tofu is just a popular vegetarian and vegan food that is full of protein.
How Can I Be Vegan If I Hate Tofu
There is an abundance of vegan foods to choose from without the need to eat tofu.
Just like there may be meat-eaters that hate pork and never eat pork, there can be vegans that never eat tofu.
Tofu often has a stereotype of being a main food group of vegetarians and vegans.
Although many of us do enjoy tofu and have it as part of our diets, we do not base our diets around tofu.
Being filled with protein makes tofu a wonderful choice to include in any diet where you want to cut back on meat-based protein.
Tofu can be a magical ingredient that can take on many different flavors and textures, making it extremely versatile.