Chickpea Tofu vs. Soy Tofu (Similarities and Differences Explained)

Tofu is the go-to product for many vegetarians and vegans as it’s versatile, readily available, and affordable.

But if you’re allergic to the product or dislike the taste of soy, then you may think that tofu is off the table for you. Fortunately, there’s a tofu alternative that does not come from soy.

Chickpea or Burmese tofu is made from chickpea flour and has been around for hundreds of years. It’s a great alternative to the tofu made from soybeans, which is more familiar in the Western world.

Let’s look at side-by-side comparisons of chickpea tofu vs. soy tofu.

chickpea tofu vs soy tofu

What Is Chickpea Tofu?

Chickpea tofu is a soy-free tofu alternative that is made from chickpea flour.

Chickpea tofu is created from bean flour which consists of ground chickpeas and yellow peas. This flour is cooked polenta-style and is usually combined with olive oil, water, and salt.

Chickpea tofu needs time to set, so it’s best prepared the night before and left to rest overnight.

Flour, water, and turmeric are combined and heated until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency to make Burmese tofu. You should stir the dish constantly to ensure that lumps don’t form while cooking.

Once it’s ready, the mixture is transferred to a tray and left to sit overnight.

Chickpea tofu can also be made using dried chickpeas. The peas are soaked overnight, then ground into a puree, and set.

The liquid that settles at the top is skimmed off and the remaining puree is boiled with salt and turmeric. The dish is then placed aside until it sets, which takes several hours.

This yellow tofu is a little bit jelly-like in appearance but firm in texture and doesn’t break apart when handled. It can be eaten fresh or deep-fried.

Chickpea tofu can be used to substitute regular tofu, providing a soy-free alternative for most vegan recipes.

What Is Soy Tofu?

Soy tofu is made from coagulated soy milk.

The curds produced are pressed into white blocks that vary in firmness. It’s processed in much the same way that traditional cheese is created.

Soy tofu can be silken, soft, firm, or extra firm.

While silken tofu has the semi-solid consistency of jelly, extra firm soy tofu has a similar texture to meat.

There are many varieties of soy tofu, each with its unique characteristics.

Soy tofu can be used in various dishes, both sweet and savory, quickly absorbing the flavors of the ingredients around it.

It’s gluten-free, high in protein, and low in calories, making it a healthy ingredient for many vegan dishes.

What Are the Similarities Between Chickpea Tofu and Soy Tofu?

Chickpea tofu and soy tofu are great vegan meal options that you can prepare in various ways.

If you’re looking to try chickpea tofu, here is what you need to know about the similarities it shares with soy tofu.

Source

Both chickpea tofu and soy tofu come from legumes.

Chickpeas and soybeans, from which these ingredients are produced, are thought to be the healthiest in the world. These tofu varieties will make a healthy addition to any meal.

Nutritional Content

Chickpeas and soybeans have high amounts of protein, making them great meat alternatives.

Chickpea tofu has 8.9 grams of protein in every 100-gram serving, while 100 grams of soy tofu contains 8.1 grams of the same compound.

With protein levels so closely matched, either tofu will provide you with the nutritional requirements you need for a balanced diet.

Texture

While they are made from different products, both chickpea tofu and soy tofu have soft creamy textures.

Their consistency makes them suitable for curries, stews, desserts, smoothies, and other products requiring a creamy ingredient.

These types of tofu provide an enriching addition to any dish.

Flavor

Both chickpea tofu and soy tofu have neutral flavors, which means that you can easily add them to food without altering the taste of the meal.

While their taste profiles are subtle enough to go unnoticed, chickpea tofu may have a slightly nuttier flavor due to the peas used to make it.

Absorption of Flavors

The great thing about tofu as an addition to a dish is that it tends to absorb the flavor of the other ingredients in the pot.

Chickpea tofu and soy tofu have this characteristic, making them easy to marinate or use in spicy dishes like curries.

What Are the Differences Between Chickpea Tofu and Soy Tofu?

Chickpea tofu and soy tofu share a lot of similarities, but some factors set them apart.

These are the primary differences between the two kinds of tofu.

Color

The most apparent difference between the two types of tofu is their color.

Soy tofu is white, taking on the hue of the soy milk from which it’s derived. On the other hand, chickpea tofu is yellow due to the yellow peas used and the turmeric that is often added to it.

Texture

While chickpea tofu and soy tofu can both be made to varying degrees of firmness, you can’t handle them in the same way.

Both types of tofu have soft, creamy textures, but while soy tofu tends to fall apart easily when held, chickpea tofu doesn’t crumble. You can cut this tofu into thin slices with a knife.

Preparation Method

Soy tofu is prepared by coagulating soy milk into curds and then pressing these curds into blocks. There is no cooking involved when making this tofu.

Chickpea tofu is made by cooking chickpea flour, water, salt, and sometimes turmeric. The resulting dish is then set aside to cool, after which it is cut into cubes.

Summary Table: Chickpea Tofu vs. Soy Tofu

Chickpea TofuSoy Tofu
SourceChickpea flourSoybeans
Protein Content8.9 grams/100 grams8.1 grams/100 grams
TextureSoft and creamySoft and creamy
FirmnessCan be thinly sliced with a knifeFalls apart easily
FlavorNeutral flavorNeutral flavor
AbsorptionAbsorbs flavors easilyAbsorbs flavors easily

In Summary

Chickpea tofu is an excellent alternative for those who may not want to consume soy tofu.

While chickpea tofu is made from a non-soy ingredient, it is still rich in proteins and nutrients, offering a healthy option for various vegan meals.