Time for tau kwa, tau pok and tempeh

Tau kwa can used as a substitute for meats.
Tau kwa can used as a substitute for meats.ST FILE PHOTO

Replacing pork belly and organ meats with soya bean products, eggs and black fungus in the dish is beneficial for your arteries and cardiovascular system.

For instance, organ meats are rich in purines. If you suffer from gout, this could trigger an attack.

Black fungus is high in dietary fibre, which encourages regular bowel movements.

Eggs are high in cholesterol, but you can eat one egg yolk a day without any adverse health effects. Egg yolks are a good source of vitamin A, choline and lutein, which are good for your eyes and brain.

Eggs, together with tau kwa, tau pok and tempeh, are high in protein and phytoestrogens, namely isoflavones. Isoflavones benefit heart health due to its powerful antioxidant effects.

  • NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (Per serving: 272g)

  • Energy: 293kcal

    Protein: 26.3g

    Total fat: 16.2g

    Saturated fat: 4.2g

    Cholesterol: 235mg

    Carbohydrate: 10.4g

    Dietary fibre: 3.5g

    Sodium: 287mg

Tau kwa: It has a low moisture content and is good for soups and stir-frys. It has a high protein content (11g per 100g) and is low in fat (3g per 100g). Food manufacturers usually fortify it with calcium.

Tau pok: This is a fried beancurd that is quite flat and has a spongy centre. It is good for salads, soup and grilling and is used as a casing to stuff fillings in.

It is high in protein (20g per 100g) and fat (23.6g per 100g). It has a much lower calcium content than tau kwa (276mg vs 24mg per 100g). It is not normally fortified with calcium.

Tempeh: This fermented beancurd is high in protein (19g per 100g) and is a source of probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria for our intestinal tract that also help to improve immunity.

You can use tempeh in stir-frys, baking and grilling, or as sandwich fillings.

There is no limit as to how much soya bean products we can eat in a day. However, it is always best to exercise sensible portion control with all foods.

Tau kwa, tau pok and tempeh are great sources of protein and calcium, but are lacking in dietary fibre and other essential minerals.

Jaclyn Reutens

Dietitian, Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Time for tau kwa, tau pok and tempeh'. Print Edition | Subscribe