Tofu or Edamame: Know Them Well to Pick the Better One for Yourself

Rohit Panwar

Once popular only in East Asia, soybeans and its products are now widely known throughout the world. However, many are still confused between soy products such as tofu vs edamame. 

As a nutritionist, I will assist you by explaining the differences between these two soy products. This will help you to get clarity about “Is tofu or edamame better for you?”

Tofu vs Edamame: An In-Depth Comparison of the Nutrition & Benefits

Before moving ahead, let’s take a look at different metrics of tofu vs edamame: 


Soybeans & Water


Immature Soybeans


Mild & Soft


Nutty & Firm


100 grams


100-150 grams






1.9 g*


10 g*


4.8 g*


5 g*


8 g*


11 g*


350 mg*


 60 mg*


0.3 g*


 5 g*


Very Good




Morning & Noon


Noon & Evening 




Very Good


Very Good


Very Good






4-5 Days


1-2 Days

*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams

Does Tofu Come From Edamame?

In Japanese the word ‘Edamame’ means “beans on a  branch”. That describes almost everything about them. Edamame are immature soybeans which are boiled or steamed in salted water. 

These green and young beans can be found in pods or hulled. Hulled version is generally more expensive than pods. The pods have a hairy exterior and usually contain 3-4 soybeans inside. 

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is basically coagulate soy milk. Nigari salt (magnesium chloride) or gypsum (calcium sulfate) are used as coagulants. Resulting curd is pressed with weights to form a block of tofu. 

Tofu doesn’t come directly from the edamame. The soy milk which is used to make tofu is produced by mature soybeans which are yellow or white in color.

Which Is More Delectable: Tofu or Edamame?

Tofu blocks can be extra firm, firm or soft. It looks like a cheese block from outside due to its white or pale white color. Tofu has a very mild flavor or is almost tasteless. 

If you are preparing it with nigari salt then it will be a little bitter than the one which is made of gypsum. 

Edamame has a subtle taste which is quite similar to peas. Since beans are boiled in salty water, they have hints of saltiness. 

They taste mild, sweet and nutty. Edamame has a buttery and firm texture. 

Recommended Daily Quantity of Tofu vs Edamame

Normally, you can have 4-5 servings of soy products a day. Based on that you can add up to 100 grams of tofu and 100-150 grams of edamame per day. 

You can have up to 150 grams of podded edamame or 100 grams of  hulled one. I will suggest having small quantities if you are not used to these soy products. 

How Many Calories Do Tofu vs Edamame Contain?

If you are a person who is looking for a low calorie soy product then compared to edamame, tofu is a better pick for you. 

However the difference between their calories is not substantial. You can reduce the quantity of edamame instead of avoiding them completely. 

Comparing Tofu With Other Popular Soy Products

| Natto Vs Tofu |

| Miso Vs Tofu |

What to Pick for Lower Carbs: Tofu or Edamame?

Carbohydrates or carbs  are one of the macronutrients which are made of sugar, starch and dietary fiber. Carbs provide you energy to work well.

Tofu contains significantly lower amounts of carbs compared to edamame. If you are following a low-carb diet then it is better to opt for tofu instead of edamame.  

Tofu or Edamame: Option for Lower Fat Content

Both tofu and edamame are equally lower in cholesterol which is considered unhealthy fat for your body. 

If you are looking for a low-fat soy product then tofu and edamame are both good choices for you. There is hardly any difference between their fat content

Does Tofu Have More Protein Than Edamame?

Protein is a macronutrient which is essential for many functions in your body including building and maintaining the strength of bones.

Most of the plant based foods don’t contain much protein, however few are exceptions such as  beans and legumes. Edamame and tofu are excellent sources of protein for vegan and vegetarians. Compared to tofu, edamame has a bit more protein. 

Are Edamame and Tofu the Same in Terms of Calcium Sources?

Calcium is a vital micronutrient for everyone, however children aged between 9-18 years, pregnant and post menopausal women need it in higher amounts. 

Speaking of calcium, tofu contains way more of it than edamame. Opt for tofu instead of edamame, if you belong to the group which requires more calcium 

Is Tofu or Edamame Better for Your Fiber Needs?

Fiber is a type of carbs which your body can’t digest. Fiber is needed to maintain digestive health, to control the sugar level and for much more. 

The process of making soy milk takes away most of the fiber of soybeans. On the other hand, whole boiled edamame is a rich source of fiber. 

Nutritional Diversity: Which Is Healthier Edamame or Tofu?

To decide which one is healthier between edamame and tofu, we need to compare their nutritional diversity. Edamame has more protein and fiber whereas tofu is a low calorie, carbs food option. 

Talking of vitamins and minerals then tofu is relatively richer in minerals whereas edamame contains more vitamins.  

It is difficult to pick one over other as a more healthy option, however edamame is one step ahead here due to high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin E etc. 

Suitable Time of the Day for Having Tofu vs Edamame

You can have tofu for breakfast like other East Asian people. It is a low carb and protein rich food which is perfect to start the day. It is also a healthy option for a midday meal or for a light supper. 

Late afternoons or evenings are best to have edamame. It is a popular side dish with drinks in Japanese parties and bars.

Tofu vs Edamame Protein: Which Is Easy to Digest?

Your gut health impacts your overall physical and mental health. Healthy digestive system is also critical to develop your immunity. 

Talking about tofu vs edamame protein, both contain soy protein though since tofu is made of heated soy milk, it is easy to digest compared to protein in edamame. 

Compared to tofu, edamame is more gut friendly since it is a fiber-rich food. However, you might have gastric issues if you have a soy allergy. In such cases it is better to avoid both tofu and edamame. 

Compare Edamame vs Tofu Nutrition for Your Oral and Bone Health

Tofu and  edamame are soybeans products which contain all 9 amino acids which are requirements to make protein by the body.

Tofu has more calcium whereas edamame contains a good amount of vitamin K, which is an important vitamin for your bones density. Edamame also has more phosphorus than tofu, which helps to promote oral health. 

Tofu vs Edamame: How Differently Can You Use Them?

You can add tofu to fried rice, noodles, curries or eat it straight with soy or mustard sauce. It can be fried, grilled or stir fried. Scrambled tofu is an excellent vegan substitute of scrambled egg. Tofu curry is one of my favorite ways to have this nutritious plant food. 

Usually edamame is eaten straight after boiling, podded and hulled both. Don’t eat edamame raw or stir fried. Shelled edamame is a great add on to your salad to make it protein rich and to give extra crunch. 

Tofu vs Edamame: Compare the Shelf Life

Tofu can be stored around 1-2 days at room temperature and up to 4-5 days in the fridge. I will suggest keeping it in the fridge to maintain the freshness. If you are not planning to use it for long then keep it in the freezer. 

You can keep boiled edamame fresh for 4-5 by putting them in the fridge. Be aware that boiled edamame can spoil within hours especially during summers. You can store it longer by keeping it in the freezer. 

In conclusion, both tofu and edamame can be beneficial to your overall health. I would say that instead of picking over the other, try to add both of them to get the benefits of both. 

If you have any further query regarding tofu vs edamame, I will try my best to answer it as soon as possible. 

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.