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What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh

Tofu, paneer and tempeh look almost the same, and taste almost the same too. Many people may be left confused about how they are different from each other, and how to identify them individually. Here at OneHowTo.com, we are going to tell you what is the difference between tofu, paneer and tempeh.

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How they are made

Paneer, or Indian cheese, is a dairy product made by curdling hot milk with a food acid, such as lemon juice and vinegar. Tofu is made by curdling hot, fresh soy milk using a coagulant. Tempeh is made by using mold to ferment cooked soybeans.

Picture (tofu)

What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh - How they are made

Appearance

These three products look pretty much alike, so it's easy to get confused. Paneer is white, soft and wet to the touch. Tofu, on the other hand, is a bit brownish, wet, and harder to touch than paneer. Tempeh is brown in color, and dry to touch.

Picture (Tempeh): commons.wikimedia.org

What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh - Appearance

Consistency

It is also easy to tell these three apart by just touching them. Paneer is soft, and melts when you put it in your mouth. Tofu is smooth, soft and spongy. Tempeh is chewy and firm in consistency.

Picture (Paneer): en.wikipedia.org

What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh - Consistency

Location

Paneer is a popular ingredient in vegetarian dishes of India. Tofu is commonly used in Southeast Asian and East Asian countries. Tempeh is basically a creation of Indonesia.

Note that tofu and tempeh are vegan-friendly whereas paneer is not suitable for vegans.

Taste

Paneer has a very mild taste of its own, with dominance of a milk like flavor. Tofu has almost no taste, but when mixed with ingredients and spices, it takes the flavors well. Tempeh has a slightly sweet, earthy taste.

What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh - Taste

How it is sold

Now you know how to tell them apart, let's take a look at where to purchase them. Paneer can be easily made at home, but is also sold commonly sold in markets in India. Tofu can last longer, and it's widely sold as a processed food in most supermarkets nowadays. Tempeh is also sold in processed, packaged form in healthfood stores.

Nutritional value

A major part of Paneer is made up of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Tofu has more proteins, and is considered to be a healthier alternative to paneer. Tempeh is also high in calories, but also stores plenty of protein and fiber.

If you want to read similar articles to What Is The Difference Between Tofu, Paneer And Tempeh, we recommend you visit our Food & drink category.

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