This article is a new category here on “MichelNilles.Com!” At the start. She calls herself “food”.
In this section you will now find at irregular intervals the basics that you need for your vegan life.
So be curious what else will follow.
To start with, this article contains everything you need to know about tofu, seitan and tempeh for you.
Everything soy or what?
Tofu should be nothing new to you as a vegan. As a plant eater you can hardly ignore it.
And even omnivores have usually heard of it.
But Seitan and Tempeh? They are already less familiar.
And what exactly is that? What is it made of? And how does it taste?
You do not know? No problem. I felt the same way.
All I knew was that maybe it had something to do with soy. Or not?
Hmm. We’ll see …
You see, what exactly is in it, how the stuff is made and how to use it, I had, frankly, no idea.
Are you similarly haphazard? Do not worry! I’ll dig it up for you bit by bit.
Well, let’s take a closer look.
Let’s start with the tofu.
Tofu – the versatile soybean curd
Originally tofu, a bean curd made from soybeans, comes from Chinese cuisine and spread throughout Japan throughout the 8th century across Japan and Korea.
In Japan, it also got the name “tofu“.
For the production of tofu, soybeans are soaked and ground with water until a fine puree results out of it, which is then filtered.
From this arises first soy milk, as well as a pure liquid.
By adding coagulants, usually Nigari (sea salt extract), the protein – since soy is about 35% protein – is separated from the liquid by boiling.
The protein thus obtained is finally pressed into blocks, cut and packaged, depending on the desired strength of the final product.
In this form you will find the tofu on the supermarket shelf.
As a rule, we have four tofu varieties.
The softest variant is the so-called silk tofu, which coagulates almost un-pressed in the packaging.
As the name suggests, it is very open-pored and almost creamy.
You can use it to make sweets and desserts, among other things.
Natural tofu is usually pickled in brine, relatively neutral in taste and also quite firm.
The smoked tofu comes a little more solid and with a distinct smoked aroma.
For me the smoked tofu was a great meat substitute, especially at the beginning of my vegan diet. Even today, I always have a pack of it in the fridge.
There are also marinated and spiced tofu varieties in different flavors.
In addition, you have certainly seen one or the other meat substitute product, which consists of tofu, such as grilled sausage or cold cuts.
Let’s move on to the next candidate on our list, the Seitan.
Seitan – the meat imitation of wheat protein
Just like tofu, seitan also has its origins in China.
However, it is not from soy, but won from wheat protein, which you also know by the name of gluten.
Now, of course, the alarm bells are ringing for you!
Gluten? Is not this highly dangerous glutinous white that kills us all?
Can you even take this without hesitation?
Well, there was some scare tactics and everybody suddenly thought of celiac disease, which is the medical term for gluten intolerance.
However, the fact is that, according to the latest estimates, only about 4% of population actually exhibit this incompatibility.
If you belong to it, you should of course also do without Seitan.
For the remaining 96%, gluten – and therefore seitan – is completely harmless and represents a great protein source for you as a vegan Earthling.
For the production of seitan pure, washed-out wheat flour is used, which you can buy as a so-called seitan base.
This is then mixed in a ratio of 1: 1 with water and you can then, as desired, spice up and from it as desired in slices, shredded, cubes and any other form.
If you do not want to buy a seitan base, you can also wash out the starch from conventional wheat flour yourself, as described here.
Here’s a bit more effort involved from your end, but still not a big deal.
Due to its consistency, the ready-made seitan is quite reminiscent of meat products and is therefore often used for the production of vegan finished products such as sausages, gyros, cold cuts and many more other meat like substitute products.
Now number three on my list – and probably the least known – is Tempeh.
Tempeh – the nutty soybean miracle
It’s shadowy existence is completely undeserved, because Tempeh is low in fat, rich in protein and wholesome.
Okay, that sounds good, you say, but of course you want to know what it’s about before you get you some. I can understand. 😉
Originally from Indonesia, Tempeh was brought to Europe by the Dutch colonial power.
Like tofu, tempeh is also based on soy, but the similarities end here.
The basis for Tempeh are fermented soybeans.
These are peeled, cooked and inoculated with noble molds.
Then the beans are pressed into rectangular blocks or rolls and incubated at about 30 ° C for about two days.
This fermentation process ensures that the noble mold fungus forms a network of fine white threads, which surrounds the soybeans and holds them together firmly.
Somehow it is similar to the production of “Camenbert” cheese, which Tempeh reminds a little on the outside.
Tempeh has a mild, slightly nutty-cheesy aroma, whereby the taste of each variety can also be quite different.
Just try it and see what you like best.
Furthermore, Tempeh has a high content of protein, which can be metabolized due to the fermentation particularly well by the human body.
In addition, Tempeh is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and fiber.
In the vegan kitchen you can use tempeh in a variety of ways, because it cuts, marinates and roasts perfectly.
Recipes with all these products can be found here on the website!
So now you actually know everything you need to know about tofu, seitan and tempeh.
As you can see, you can enrich the menu of your vegan kitchen with some interesting and tasty options.
If you still need recipe ideas, I have some exciting links for you here:
There are tons of fantastic tofu recipes on the Phoenix Bean website.
Great seitan recipes for roast, curry sausage, goulash, cake, wraps & more can be found here at Maya.
And on the page of this Tempeh manufactory Noble Bean, you’ll find great inspirations about the delights that can be conjured up with Tempeh.
Now you know and I just have to wish you lots of fun in your kitchen trying it out – and let the delightful preparations make your taste buds dance!
And? What are you doing with this knowledge? I’m curious! Write your comment below now!