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Tofu vs. Soya Chunks — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 25, 2024
Tofu is a soft, cheese-like food made from curdled soy milk, while soya chunks are textured vegetable protein made from defatted soy flour.
Tofu vs. Soya Chunks — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Tofu and Soya Chunks


Key Differences

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid white blocks of varying softness. Soya chunks, or textured vegetable protein (TVP), are made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil.
The texture and taste of tofu are quite subtle and can vary from soft to firm. It's known for its ability to absorb flavors from other ingredients in a dish. Soya chunks have a more meat-like texture and need to be rehydrated before cooking, often used as a meat substitute in various recipes.
Tofu is an integral part of many Asian cuisines, particularly in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dishes. Soya chunks, while also used in Asian cuisines, are widely utilized in vegetarian and vegan dishes globally as a protein-rich meat alternative.
Nutritionally, tofu is a good source of protein, iron, and calcium, and is low in calories. Soya chunks are high in protein and fiber, and low in fat, making them a popular choice for health-conscious individuals.
In culinary use, tofu's mild flavor and varying textures make it versatile in soups, stir-fries, and even desserts. Soya chunks are typically used in savory dishes, often mimicking the texture of cooked meat.

Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient

Curdled soy milk
Defatted soy flour

Texture and Taste

Subtle taste, varies from soft to firm
Meat-like texture, needs rehydration

Common Use

Diverse Asian dishes, adaptable to many flavors
Meat substitute in vegetarian/vegan dishes

Nutritional Content

Rich in protein, iron, calcium; low in calories
High in protein and fiber; low in fat

Culinary Versatility

Used in soups, stir-fries, desserts
Used in savory dishes as a meat alternative

Compare with Definitions


A soft food made from curdled soy milk.
I used silken tofu to make a smooth vegan dessert.

Soya Chunks

Requires rehydration before cooking.
Before cooking, I soaked the soya chunks in warm water.


Known for its ability to absorb flavors.
The tofu absorbed the spicy flavors of the curry beautifully.

Soya Chunks

High in protein and dietary fiber.
Soya chunks are a great addition to my diet for extra fiber.


A source of vegan protein, iron, and calcium.
Tofu is a staple in my diet as a source of plant-based protein.

Soya Chunks

Utilized in savory vegetarian and vegan recipes.
I made a delicious chili with soya chunks as the main ingredient.


Comes in different textures from soft to firm.
I prefer firm tofu for its chewy texture in salads.

Soya Chunks

Often used as a meat substitute in dishes.
These soya chunks make a great vegan alternative to beef.


Used in a variety of Asian and vegetarian dishes.
We added tofu to our stir-fry for extra protein.

Soya Chunks

Textured vegetable protein made from soy flour.
I replaced chicken with soya chunks in this recipe.


A protein-rich food coagulated from an extract of soybeans.


A protein-rich food made from curdled soy milk.


Cheeselike food made of curdled soybean milk

Common Curiosities

Can tofu be used in desserts?

Yes, silken tofu can be used in various vegan and vegetarian desserts.

Do soya chunks need to be cooked before eating?

Soya chunks should be rehydrated and then cooked before eating.

What is tofu made from?

Tofu is made from curdled soy milk.

Is tofu suitable for a vegan diet?

Yes, tofu is a plant-based product and suitable for vegans.

Are soya chunks a good source of protein?

Yes, soya chunks are high in protein and are a popular meat substitute.

Can tofu be eaten raw?

Yes, tofu can be eaten raw, especially the softer varieties.

Are soya chunks gluten-free?

Pure soya chunks are gluten-free, but it's important to check the packaging for any added ingredients.

What are the health benefits of soya chunks?

Soya chunks are high in protein and fiber, and low in fat, making them a healthy addition to a diet.

How should tofu be stored?

Tofu should be stored in water in the refrigerator and used within a few days of opening.

Can soya chunks be used in soups?

Yes, soya chunks can be used in soups, stews, and other savory dishes.

What types of dishes are best for firm tofu?

Firm tofu is best for stir-frying, grilling, and baking as it holds its shape well.

Are soya chunks a good meat alternative for vegetarians?

Yes, soya chunks are an excellent meat alternative for vegetarians and vegans due to their high protein content and meat-like texture.

Does tofu have a strong flavor?

Tofu has a very mild flavor, making it versatile in absorbing the flavors of the dish it's cooked in.

Can tofu be frozen for later use?

Yes, tofu can be frozen, but it may change the texture, making it more suitable for certain types of cooking like stir-frying.

How do you prepare soya chunks for cooking?

Soya chunks should be soaked in warm water until they are soft, then squeezed and used in cooking.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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