What is Hemp Tofu? - A Soy Alternative

If you are plant-based then you know how versatile tofu is. Tofu is used in dozens of recipes. And now people with soy allergies, looking for an alternative no longer have to feel left out. Simply ask, what is hemp tofu?

Hemp tofu is a soy alternative made from hemp hearts. It’s also called “hempfu” and can be used in the same way as soy tofu. 

In this article, we’ll go over what you can do with hemp tofu and what makes it healthy. 

Luckily, you have options for hemp tofu. You can make some at home or find it in stores. Keep reading to learn more about how to make hemp tofu at home. 

Whether you are vegan or looking for something new to add to your diet, hemp tofu may be right for you. 

What is Hemp Tofu?

Hemp tofu is an alternative to soy tofu known as “hempfu.” The soy alternative is created using hemp hearts. Hemp tofu is made by boiling hemp hearts and placing them into a tofu press. 

Tofu is a protein that is used in vegan meals as a main dish. The protein is versatile and can be used in stir-fries, soups, and everything in between. You can even cut hemp tofu and make it into tofu steaks

Hemp tofu is a healthy option you can buy in stores or make at home. 

What Does Hemp Tofu Taste Like?

Hemp tofu tastes a bit earthy and nutty. The texture is creamy and crumbly. The flavor of hemp tofu will be different depending on if you have homemade or store-bought.

Of course, the flavor of hemp tofu will also depend on how you season it. Other than the nuttiness, hemp tofu is a blank slate for flavor. Use a nice sauce to give it the taste you want.  

Alone, hemp tofu’s flavor is light, so it can be seasoned or sauced with both sweet and savory spices. The flexibility makes tofu the perfect food to handle the flavor profile of all kinds of cuisine. 

The crumbly texture of hemp tofu is what adds to the taste. It can be pressed and fried into a firm meaty bite or crumbled to melt in your mouth in a soup. Either way, hemp tofu can be added to a meal that is loaded with flavors.

What Makes Hemp Tofu a Healthy Option?

What makes hemp tofu a healthy option is that it’s allergy free and nutrient-dense. Hemp tofu contains high amounts of protein, omega fatty acids, and all nine essential amino acids. Hemp is a soy alternative for people with food allergies including those with gluten sensitivities. 

You also have to remember that hemp contains an exceptional amount of vitamins and minerals. Hemp tofu has iron, calcium, and vitamin E. That many health benefits are hard to find in one vegan protein

Hemp is a healthy option because these nutrients provide benefits like heart health, bone health, and brain health. 

Hemp protein helps regulate weight, metabolism, and your reproductive system making it good for everyone in the family including pregnant women

What Can You Do with Hemp Tofu?

Use hemp tofu in a stir fry, scramble, or anywhere you would use ground meat. Any recipe that calls for soy tofu can be substituted with hemp tofu. 

You can create new recipes using hemp tofu as a substitute including:

  • Chili
  • Stir fry 
  • Soup 
  • Tofu steak
  • Scrambles
  • Tacos
  • Burritos

The best way to use hemp tofu is to bake, fry, or grill it. That doesn’t mean you can’t try new ways like in a crockpot, air fryer, or pressure cooker. 

Different types of tofu are appropriate for different meals. Extra-firm tofu doesn’t crumble easily and has a dense texture for frying and grilling. A firm texture is great for a hearty meal.

Silken tofu is soft and melts away easily. You won’t find this consistency in hemp tofu in stores. 

Where Can You Buy Hemp Tofu?

Hemp tofu is available in natural food stores. Whole Foods has hemp tofu in stores and on shopping delivery sites like Instacart. Hemp hearts can also be purchased from your local grocery store and be used to make hemp tofu at home.    

Can You Make Hemp Tofu at Home?

It’s possible to make hemp tofu at home. To make hemp tofu use hemp hearts

When you make homemade tofu it will be firm. So use hemp in place of firm soy tofu in recipes.

To make homemade hemp tofu:

  • Place 1 cup hemp hearts and 3.5 cup water into blender. Blend until it’s a smooth liquid (hemp milk).
  • Simmer hemp milk until it comes to a boil.
  • The hemp milk will start to curdle. Once curdling, turn heat on medium-low.
  • Stir constantly on a low boil for about four minutes
  • Turn off the heat and add half of a coagulant like nigari. Make the mixture based on the instructions on the package (usually 1tbls of nigari in 1/2c hot water). Coagulant is optional. 
  • Stir and wait until the temperature drops. Once the liquid gets thicker and sticky, add the other half of the coagulant. Base the amount of coagulant on your desired level of firmness. 
  • Stir the solution again and let it sit for 15 minutes  
  • Strain the liquid and use the hemp cake that remains to mold into any shape, becoming your tofu

There’s more than one way to make hemp tofu. In some cases you may not even need a coagulant, it’s optional. If you don’t use a coagulant, your tofu will be crumbly. Try another DIY hemp tofu recipe or a soy tofu recipe for more detailed instructions.



Hemp Tofu vs Soy Tofu

Soy and hemp tofu can be used interchangeably in some recipes, but each is different. Hemp tofu has a different texture and flavor profile than soy tofu. Both have nutritional benefits, but hemp tofu contains more nutrients and minerals than most any vegan proteins.

Hemp tofu and soy tofu are different in three ways, texture, flavor, and nutrients.


Hemp tofu is denser and more crumbly than soy tofu. Hemp is best used for grilling and frying. While silken soy tofu is best for creams, sauces, and dressings. Silken tofu is what you find in miso soup.

Hemp tofu does not come in a silken form like soy tofu. It wouldn’t be a good idea to use homemade hemp tofu in smoothies like you would silken tofu. Hemp tofu wouldn’t blend into a liquid in the same way.


Hemp tofu is slightly nutty, or earthy. Soy tofu is light, milky, and doesn’t taste like much of anything.

While hemp tofu can soak up flavor, it doesn’t do it as quickly as soy tofu. You will need to season hemp tofu more heavily for bold flavors. 

This doesn’t mean that you need to over salt your hemp tofu. Rather than use a dry seasoning, try a sauce until you determine your favorite flavors for hemp tofu.  


Hemp tofu contains no allergens, soy, on the other hand, is a “top 8” allergen. This makes hemp a healthy alternative for people with gluten sensitivities and soy allergies. 

When it comes to comparing nutrients, the benefits of hemp tofu outweigh soy tofu. While soy tofu is lower in fat than hemp tofu, the higher fat content is due to the healthy fatty acids. 

Along with the omega fatty acids, hemp tofu also has twice the amount of iron than soy tofu. Soy tofu also has less protein and fiber than hemp tofu. The benefits of healthy fat and protein are lower cholesterol and better immune function.  

So in the end, hemp tofu contains more protein, fiber, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C. Hemp promotes a healthy body inside and out and is worth a try if you are looking for an alternative to soy tofu.

Summary: What is Hemp Tofu?

As you can see, hemp tofu is a vegan protein made with hemp hearts. If you can’t find it in a store near you, it’s possible to make it at home. All you need to make hemp tofu is hemp hearts and water.

The health benefits of hemp tofu are enough of a reason to give the soy alternative a try. If you have soy allergies, hemp tofu can give you the chance to try dozens of vegan recipes.

The nutty flavor of hemp tofu tastes great in chilis, soups, tacos, and burritos. You can use hemp tofu as a substitute in any recipe that includes soy tofu or ground meat. 

Get a bag of Humming Hemp hemp hearts today to start making your hemp tofu. Want hemp tofu with a little more flavor? Try starting with our flavored hemp hearts. Don’t forget to share your recipes with us at #humminghemp.