Is Tofu Vegan?

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a versatile and popular food made from soybeans. In recent years Tofu has become increasingly popular as a vegan protein source during pregnancy, however people do still wonder, is tofu vegan? 

Origins of Tofu

Tofu originated in China over 2,000 years ago and has been a staple food in many Asian countries ever since. 

Tofu was brought to the United States in the late 1800s and became popular in the UK in the 1970’s. Since this time it has been present in Western cuisine. 

Tofu can be found in almost all grocery stores nowadays and is a nutritiously dense plant based source of protein and calcium

How is Tofu Made?

Tofu is made from soybeans, which are soaked, ground, and then cooked. This is then coagulated (made thicker) using calcium sulphate or magnesium chloride to form curds. The curds are then pressed into blocks. 

Types of tofu

The main difference between the types of tofu is the water content. The softer the tofu the higher the water content. 

Silken Tofu – This style of tofu can be used in salads, curries and my favourite dish, scrambled tofu. It breaks apart quite easily when cooking so needs to be handled with care. 

Firm Tofu – probably the tofu that you will use in most cooking. It is tougher and holds up when cooking whereas softer or silken tofu will fall apart. Firm tofu is perfect fried, grilled or roasted. It is just important that it is drained and pressed before cooking. 

Nutritional value of tofu

Tofu is an amazing source of protein during pregnancy. A portion of tofu is around 100g. 

Per 100g it contains approximately; 

  • 140kcals
  • 17g protein
  • 350-500mg calcium
  • 5.5mg iron

Plus magnesium, folate and zinc all of which are essential nutrients when vegan or following a plant based pregnancy. 

The calcium content of tofu can vary depending on how it is prepared and the calcium sulfate used. 

Tofu brands


  • Tofoo
  • Dragonfly
  • Cauldron
  • Wicked


  • Clearspring
  • Mori-Nu
  • Yutaka
Is Tofu Vegan

Can you eat tofu raw in pregnancy?

Yes, it can be eaten raw as the process used to make tofu means that it doesn’t pose a risk. However, it is important to always check this process prior to eating plus it tastes better cooked! 

Is Tofu Vegan?

Yes, tofu is considered a vegan as it is made from soya beans. 

Tofu naturally does not contain any animal products or byproducts, making it an excellent source of protein during a vegan or plant based pregnancy.

However, it’s important to note that not all tofu is made in the same way. Some tofu products on the grocery shelves may contain additives, such as egg whites or gelatin, which are not vegan. 

It’s essential to read the ingredient list carefully when purchasing tofu to make sure that it is free of any animal products. 


Overall tofu is a nutrient dense food suitable for vegans or those following a plant based pregnancy. It is made from soya beans, which are soaked, ground and then cooked. 

Tofu is an excellent source of protein for pregnant women who are vegan and can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to smoothies. However, it’s important to be aware of any potential additives that may be present in some tofu products and to always read the ingredient list carefully. 

If you need any support with your nutritional intake during pregnancy then get in touch for expert advice

Hannah x

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