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The Different Types of Soy Foods

By Suzanne Havala

Soy foods come in dozens of forms. Some types of soy are used as ingredients in commercially produced food products, and other kinds of soy are sold as ready-to-eat products. Soy foods can take the place of meat, cheese, eggs, milk, and other animal products in recipes.

This table gives you an idea of types of soy products that are available.

Common Types of Soy Foods
Soy Product Description
Meat substitutes Meat alternatives made from soy protein, tofu, and other
ingredients.
Miso A rich, salty East Asian condiment. This savory paste is made
from soybeans, a grain (usually rice), and salt. It’s
combined with a mold culture and aged for at least one year.
Soy cheese A substitute for dairy cheese that comes in many different
forms comparable to dairy cheeses.
Soy mayonnaise Several brands of soy-based mayonnaise are available at natural
foods stores.
Soymilk A beverage made from soaked, ground, and strained
soybeans.
Soy sauce A rich, salty, dark brown liquid condiment made from fermented
soybeans.
Soy yogurt Made from soy milk.
Tamari A type of soy sauce; a byproduct of the production of
miso.
Tempeh A traditional Indonesian soy food. It’s made from whole
soybeans that have been mixed with a grain and a mold culture,
fermented, and pressed into a block or cake.
Textured soy protein (TSP) or textured vegetable protein
(TVP)
A product made from textured soy flour. It’s usually sold
in chunks or granules, and takes on a chewy, meat-like texture when
rehydrated.
Tofu Soybean curd. Tofu is made in a process similar to
cheese-making, using soymilk and a coagulant. It’s available
in a variety of textures and densities.