The variety of meat substitutes is enormous. But where are the differences between the individual products and what is behind the respective alternatives? In the following, you will first get an overview of the various soy products, as well as their differences and uses.
A clear classic among vegan meat substitutes is tofu, which has been part of the vegetarian and vegan diet from the very beginning. But just as popular as tofu is, it also often comes under fire for its bland taste and soft consistency. However, if you know how to prepare it properly, you will quickly be amazed by its variety and countless uses. But first, let's start with its origin and production. As you are probably aware, tofu is made from soy. Strictly speaking, it is soaked soybeans, which are later ground with water and then dehydrated and pressed into shape. This makes the protein content exceptionally high, making tofu an excellent source of protein. In addition, tofu is available smoked or blended with various herbs. Depending on the type of tofu, there are also different ways to prepare it. Sauteed tofu is especially popular, but it is also delicious marinated, baked or breaded, as in this sesame tofu recipe. Another idea: crumble the tofu, season it well, and use it as a substitute for ground meat.
But what is the difference between tofu and soy shreds? Quite simply: unlike tofu, soy shreds are dried and consist of pure soy. It is therefore necessary to soak soy cutlets in water before eating them. In addition to the larger soy shreds, there are also soy granules, which consist of much smaller pieces. So you can vary between the two forms depending on the application. A tip: Soak the soy pieces in broth rather than water. This gives them a subtle spicy flavor.
In contrast to tofu and soy shreds, tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and is produced with the help of noble molds. The fermentation process gives tempeh its characteristic nutty flavor. Tempeh can be used in the same way as tofu and brings a little more variety to your dish with its pleasant taste.
Try a few recipes and find your favorite among the substitute products.