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Soy Food:Its Many Looks

September 26, 1996|MARGARET SHERIDAN

Tofu is not the only soy food around. Here's a glossary of some of the more commonly found products.

* Tempeh: Fermented soybeans compressed into chewy, dense cakes. It has a distinctive salty taste. It can be grilled, fried or steamed, grated in salads or substituted for ground meat in chili, burgers, cutlets, meat sauces and sloppy joes. It should be poached before using to mellow its flavor.

* Miso: Fermented soybean paste. It has a salty/sweet cheese-like flavor and is used as a condiment, seasoning or ingredient in dips, sauces and gravies.

* Textured vegetable protein (TVP): Also called textured soy protein. It's compressed soy flour, which takes on a granular texture. It can be used as an extender in many foods or to replace meat in sloppy joes, sausages, chili, burgers and hot dogs. Meat analogs are also made from it.

* Soy milk: A liquid made by grinding and pressing soaked, cooked soybeans; used by people who are allergic to dairy products or want to avoid animal foods. Soy milk has a nutty flavor. It can be substituted for dairy milk in shakes, soups, sauces and in cereal. Available flavored or plain, in whole or low-fat versions.

* Soy flour: Ground roasted soybeans processed into flour to use in baking. By itself, it makes a heavy bread, so it is usually combined with other flours. Soy flour can also be used to thicken gravies and sauces.

* Soy cheese: A cheese-like food made from soy milk; available in styles similar to mozzarella, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, jalapen~o and Parmesan. Use it as a substitute for dairy cheese in pizza, sandwiches, lasagna, Mexican food.

* Soy sauce: A liquid extracted from a mixture of water, wheat flour and whole soybeans that have been fermented with the use of a specialized mold, Aspergillus wentii.

* Tamari: A higher-quality soy sauce made using a smaller proportion of wheat. Used as an ingredient in cooking, as a condiment or as a flavoring agent in casseroles, marinades and stir-fries.

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