ZeroPoint™ Cheat Sheet: Tofu & Tempeh

All your top questions about tofu and tempeh, answered
Published April 28, 2022

While “zero” usually means “nothing,” at WW, ZeroPoint™ foods are everything! If tofu and tempeh are your ZeroPoint foods and you’ve got some questions, you’re in the right place.

Which foods are included in this category?

  • Firm tofu
  • Silken tofu
  • Smoked tofu
  • Soft tofu
  • Tempeh

What’s the difference between all of these tofus and tempeh?

Tofu is made from condensed soy milk, is typically sold in “blocks,” and comes in varying degrees of firmness—silken, soft, firm, and extra firm. Silken tofu is often used in pureed dishes and smoothies due its creamy texture while extra firm tofu is typically used in recipes that require chopping or slicing since it holds its shape well.

Smoked tofu is seasoned, cooked blocks of tofu that are best used chopped and then lightly crisped in an air fryer or skillet, and added to stir-fries, grain bowls, or sandwiches. You can find smoked tofu at supermarkets or make your own. Just marinate pressed, sliced extra firm tofu with soy sauce, vinegar, and liquid smoke, and bake it.

Tempeh is typically made by mixing fermented soybeans with one or more grains (such as wild rice, brown rice, and oats) that are formed into a firm, nutty-tasting “cake.” Some popular ways to prepare tempeh include marinating it and grilling it like a steak; steaming and crumbling it into grain bowls; cubing and crisping it up in an air-fryer or oven and tossing it with stir-fried vegetables.

What if I bread and air-fry my tofu?

The tofu remains ZeroPoints but the breading and any other non ZeroPoint ingredients need to be tracked.

What are some great cooking hacks that use tofu?

Silken tofu is like a magical ingredient in the kitchen. It can be pureed and seasoned, and stand in for a wide range of foods such as heavy cream, cream cheese, oil, or mayo. You can use it to:

  • add body to sauces and salad dressings instead of using lots of oil.
  • thicken cream soups instead of using actual cream.
  • replace the mayo in chicken, tuna, and egg salad recipes.
  • give body to cheesecake instead of using cream cheese.

Any other tofu-related tips?

Because tofu is so mild in flavour, it’s like a blank slate that can take on many different flavour profiles. Don’t just use it in Asian-inspired dishes. Tofu is excellent in Mexican casseroles and tacos, Italian pasta bakes and cheesecakes, New American vegetable soups, Indian tandoori dishes, and so much more.

Leslie Fink, MS, RD, has worked on WW’s editorial team for more than 21 years. She plays a key role in food, recipe, and program content, as well as product partnerships and experiences.