Because tofu is so versatile and has many variants, one can’t help but wonder – is tofu fermented?
Tofu isn’t naturally fermented but many people want it to be because of the health advantages it provides.
Some say that fermented tofu is healthier than unfermented tofu since it has been fermented to eliminate some of the plant’s antinutrients.
It’s normal if you feel confused about fermented and unfermented tofu. This article will discuss everything you need to know about to clarify the difference.
Table of Contents
Is Tofu a Fermented Soy Product?
In contrast, fermented tofu is made by boiling and fermenting soybeans directly. Soybeans are the source of fermented soy protein.
This is accomplished by letting the bean curd air dry and ferment due to the presence of bacteria and fungus spores in the air. Fermented tofu is essentially a fermented soy protein that has been brine-soaked.
Soybean curds are generated by destabilizing micelles which results in tofu, which is prepared in the same way as cheese. Like aged cheese, fermented tofu is subjected to microorganisms.
The fermented form has a better taste, is more bioavailable, and lasts longer due to its lower perishability.
In general, high-quality protein sources like soy protein are an excellent idea.
For example, soy has a high Amino Acid Score yet no cholesterol and very little fat. There are several health advantages of eating fermented soy products.
Is Organic Tofu Fermented?
Organic tofu is usually not fermented. However, it can be.
Fermented tofu that has been fermented in brine for at least a month is referred to as “Chao” in Vietnamese. Water, rice wine, and salt are the most common ingredients in brine.
What’s the Difference Between Tofu and Fermented Tofu?
Aside from the preparation of both types of tofu, there are some other key differences.
Although they have similar nutritional profiles, fermented and unfermented tofu have unique characteristics that should be considered when preparing a nutritious meal.
Unfermented tofu has a lower protein content than fermented tofu. That’s because fermented tofu can be made from legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
This provides a complete supply of protein. Fermented tofu is a good option if you’re trying to increase your protein and fat intake.
Both soy products have a lot in common regarding their nutritional content. Unfermented tofu is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, and has one milligram of iron per serving.
Tofu that has been supplemented with vitamins B12, vitamin D, and calcium (which is abundant in tofu) is also available.
A serving of fermented tofu provides 10% of your recommended daily intake of iron and calcium.
Adding fermented tofu to your diet can help improve your digestive health and keep you regular.
Magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc are all present in both types of tofu.
Besides the nutritional value of both types, the rest depends on your taste. Either choice would be a fantastic meat alternative in any dish.
While you’re looking for fermented tofu, go for the most straightforward option feasible. A lot of sugar and salt is typically added to flavor fermented tofu.
You should also check the label if you’re gluten-free.
On the other hand, unfermented tofu is flavorless, making it more versatile in the kitchen than fermented tofu as a meat substitute.
All in all, both provide a fantastic and complete protein choice for vegetarians.
Is Fermented Tofu Better?
Which type of tofu is better depends on your taste. However, it’s believed that fermented tofu has more health benefits.
Fermented Tofu Benefits
Soy proteins that have been fermented are linked to a lower risk of illness and better overall health.
During the fermentation process, trypsin inhibitors are eliminated. Some of the soy’s health advantages can’t be absorbed by your body because of these inhibitors.
Bone health may be improved by consuming fermented soy. 100 grams of fermented tofu contains 11% of your daily value (DV) in calcium, 20% of magnesium, 65% of manganese, and 27% of phosphorus.
Bone health and a decreased risk of osteoporosis are linked to all of these nutrients.
Fermented soy products have also been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease.
In many fermented soy products, you’ll find high quantities of heart-healthy minerals, such as niacin and calcium, as well as magnesium and folate.
Fermented soy products may also help alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
Soy isoflavones can be added to your diet by eating these products. These phytoestrogen-like substances are abundant in soybeans, which are a great source of isoflavones.
Glycosides found in soybeans include genistin, glycerin, and daidzin, which are all glycosides.
What Brands of Tofu Are Fermented?
There are many types and brands of fermented tofu that you can purchase.
White fermented tofu is made with soybean, sesame oil, water, calcium sulfate, and alcohol. Depending on the spices used, the flavor and aroma can vary.
Red fermented tofu is made with the above identical ingredients with the addition of red rice yeast and wine. When you add the red rice yeast to the process, you will get an intense color.
Stinky fermented tofu is fermented for more than six months. It has a rich, creamy flavor with a distinct fragrance.
Chiang fermented tofu is created with tofu marinated in Chinese miso or soy sauce for several days. It assumes a reddish-brown color.
You can easily find fermented tofu in local supermarkets or buy it online. Check out my list of fermented tofu brands that you can find on Amazon below:
- Szechuan Fermented Tofu: this tofu is silky smooth tofu that will hold up to cooking. The consistency and spicy flavor of the tofu are perfect for those who like flavored tofu.
- Sichuan Flavor Spicy Snack Tofu: the flavor of this tofu is ideal for adding some additional spice to any meal.
- Fermented Beancurd Tofu: this brand of tofu comes with a dressing that adds to its flavor.
Hopefully this article answered your questions surrounding the difference between fermented and unfermented tofu.
Which you decide to use is entirely up to you, based on your tastes and the dish you’re making.
Both have their benefits and are great meat substitutes. So, you can let your taste buds make the decision.