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July 29, 2020 - FoodPrint

A Guide to Traditional Meat Alternatives: Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh

A Guide to Traditional Meat Alternatives: Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh
TempehFile Image: (c) Photabulous!

Walk into an American grocery store and chances are you’ll find quite a few different varieties of cheese — dairy milk curds that are aged, fermented and processed in endless ways — but you might find only one or two varieties of the meat alternatives known as tofu, seitan and tempeh, if they even have those products at all.

The first thing to understand about these so-called “meat alternatives” is that they are not simply one-dimensional; they, like cheese, have been enjoyed in many, many different time-honored ways and continue to be, as each maker gives these formulas their own signature.

Outside of East Asia, where they originate, only a few of those may wind up in a supermarket that doesn’t specifically cater to Asian communities. But in order to provide an overview of tofu, seitan and tempeh, we’ll discuss these broad categories — as well as some of the specific formats.

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