Mock Duck vs Tofu: In-Depth Comparison for Veggie Foodies

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Mock duck and tofu are both popular plant-based protein sources that are used in many vegetarian and vegan dishes. While tofu is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways, mock duck is a meat substitute that mimics the texture and flavor of duck. In this article, we’ll compare mock duck and tofu to help you understand the differences between these two ingredients.

mock duck vs tofu

Mock Duck vs Tofu: Overview

Mock duck and tofu are both popular choices for vegetarian and vegan meals. They serve as meat substitutes and offer valuable nutrients to those who prefer a diet free from animal products. While both ingredients are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, there are some key differences between the two.

Tofu, also known as bean curd, is made from condensed soy milk that has been coagulated and pressed into blocks. It is available in different textures, ranging from silken to extra firm. Due to its mild flavor, tofu readily absorbs the taste of seasonings and sauces, making it a favorite ingredient for many dishes, particularly in Asian cuisine. Tofu is an excellent source of protein, and it contains all the essential amino acids. Moreover, it is low in calories, making it a healthy option for those on a weight management journey.

Mock duck, on the other hand, is made from wheat gluten and is sometimes referred to as seitan. It is created by washing wheat flour dough to remove the starch, leaving only the gluten behind. This gluten is then flavored with soy sauce and other seasonings to resemble the taste and texture of duck meat. Similar to tofu, mock duck is a good source of protein and is high in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium. Additionally, mock duck contains fiber, which is beneficial for digestion.

Both tofu and mock duck are suitable for a variety of cooking methods, including frying, grilling, baking, and sautéing. They can be used in stir-fries, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and more. The choice between the two often comes down to personal taste and preference, as well as dietary needs. For those who prefer a more firm and meaty texture, mock duck may better suit their palate, while those seeking a soft and versatile ingredient may find tofu more appealing.

In conclusion, mock duck and tofu both offer unique advantages for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking for a nutritious meat substitute. Whether used in traditional dishes or incorporated into new recipes, these ingredients provide a wealth of culinary possibilities while promoting a healthy and compassionate lifestyle.

Ingredients and Nutrition

Tofu Essentials

Tofu, a staple in many Asian dishes, is made from condensed soy milk and has a neutral flavor. This protein-rich food is low in calories, making it a popular choice for those seeking healthy meal options. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of firm, calcium-set tofu provides the following nutrients 1:

  • Calories: 144
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Calcium: 53% of the Daily Value

In addition to its high protein content, tofu also contains all the essential amino acids, making it an excellent source of complete protein. Tofu is a good source of iron and calcium, particularly if it is calcium-set, which can help support bone health2.

Mock Duck Essentials

Mock duck, also known as seitan, wheat meat, or wheat protein, is another popular plant-based protein source with ancient Asian roots. It is made from wheat gluten, giving it a firm texture and savory taste3. Here are the nutrients present in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of mock duck4:

  • Protein: 22.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Calcium: 43 mg
  • Iron: 2.0 mg

Compared to tofu, mock duck has slightly more protein but also contains gluten, making it unsuitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. While not as high in calcium as tofu, mock duck does offer some other important vitamins and minerals, including magnesium5.

In summary, both tofu and mock duck are protein-rich options for those seeking plant-based alternatives to traditional meat sources. Tofu’s neutral flavor and soft texture make it versatile in various dishes, while mock duck’s firm texture and savory taste cater to those seeking a more meat-like experience. When choosing between these two plant-based protein sources, consider dietary restrictions, nutritional content, and personal taste preferences.


  1. Healthline
  2. Legendary Spice
  3. The Healthy
  4. Cookin Docs
  5. Legendary Spice

Texture and Flavor

Tofu Texture and Flavor

Tofu is a versatile soybean-based product that comes in various textures and levels of firmness, ranging from silky soft to extra firm. The softness of tofu allows it to absorb flavors better, making it an ideal ingredient for a wide range of dishes. Its milder flavor profile means that it can take on the taste of other ingredients it is cooked with, often complementing vegetables and other flavors in a dish.

The texture of tofu is quite unique, being both soft and dense, depending on which type is used. Silken tofu, for example, has a smooth and silky texture that can easily blend into dishes like desserts or smoothies, while firmer varieties hold their shape better and are suitable for stir-fries and grilling.

In terms of flavor, tofu is fairly neutral and bland, serving as a blank canvas for any seasoning or marinade it is paired with. Its subtle taste allows for versatility in various cuisines, including Asian, South American, and even Mediterranean dishes.

Mock Duck Texture and Flavor

Mock duck, on the other hand, is a gluten-based meat substitute made from wheat gluten, oil, sugar, soy sauce, and salt. Known for its distinct “plucked duck” texture, mock duck provides a firmer and chewier texture when compared to tofu. This makes it an excellent choice for dishes that require a more meaty and satisfying bite, often found in vegetarian and vegan recipes.

The flavor of mock duck is richer and more savory than tofu, laden with umami notes from the soy sauce and seasonings. Due to its more pronounced taste, mock duck pairs well with strong and bold flavors, such as those found in many Chinese, Japanese, or Thai dishes, without being overpowered.

In terms of texture, mock duck offers a dense and chewy feel, replicating the mouthfeel of actual duck meat. Its fibrous nature also allows for different cooking methods, such as grilling, pan-frying, or baking, to further enhance its texture and create variations in tenderness.

Overall, both tofu and mock duck offer unique textures and flavors that cater to specific dish types and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a soft and neutral flavor to complement a dish or a stronger, savory bite with meat-like mouthfeel, these plant-based options provide ample choices for versatile and delicious cooking.

Culinary Uses

When discussing the culinary uses of tofu and mock duck, it’s important to recognize the unique characteristics and versatility of each ingredient. Both tofu and mock duck are popular in vegetarian cuisine, offering distinct options for those looking to replace meat in their meals.

Tofu in Cooking

Tofu, a solid block made from soybeans, is a highly versatile ingredient that can serve multiple roles in cooking. Its mild flavor and soft texture allow it to adopt the flavors of the surrounding ingredients and sauces, making it a popular choice for a variety of dishes.

  • As a protein source, tofu can be scrambled, grilled, or fried, often serving as a substitute for eggs or meat.
  • Tofu is frequently used in stir-fries and stews, where it absorbs the flavors of the sauce or marinade. To further enhance its taste, tofu can be marinated before cooking for a more robust flavor.
  • Its compatibility with various sauces lends tofu to diverse cuisines, from spicy Szechuan to milder Thai curries.
  • In addition to savory dishes, tofu can also be used in desserts such as smoothies and puddings. Soft silken tofu is suitable for creating creamy textures in sweet recipes.
  • Tofu skin, a byproduct of the tofu-making process, offers another culinary use in dishes like wraps, rolls, and salads.

Mock Duck in Cooking

Mock duck, made from wheat gluten and known as seitan, offers a firm, savory alternative to tofu. Its texture and taste are reminiscent of duck, making it a popular choice for vegetarian duck dishes.

  • Mock duck can be used in a variety of recipes that commonly feature duck, such as stir-fries, salads, and sandwiches.
  • It works well with bold, flavorful sauces and marinades, elevating the taste of the final dish.
  • To ensure optimal flavor and texture, it’s crucial to marinate or season mock duck before cooking. Unlike tofu, mock duck does not naturally absorb flavors as well, so pre-cooking preparation is critical.
  • Beyond vegetarian duck dishes, mock duck can also serve as a substitute for meat in recipes calling for chicken, beef, or fish, lending itself to creative cooking possibilities.
  • Doughy-ness is an essential characteristic of mock duck due to its wheat gluten composition. With this in mind, it can be playfully shaped into nugget-like forms, balls, or even “ribs” for a more exciting presentation.

In summary, both tofu and mock duck offer valuable culinary uses for those looking to diversify their diets or adhere to vegetarian lifestyles. Experimenting with sauces, marinades, and preparation methods will lead to delicious and satisfying alternatives to traditional meat-based dishes.

International Cuisines


Mock duck and tofu are both popular protein-rich foods that are commonly used in various Chinese dishes. While tofu is made from soybeans, resulting in a soft, white, and bland food, mock duck is derived from wheat gluten, which gives it a firm, brown, and savory texture1. Chinese cuisine frequently incorporates these ingredients in stir-fries, saucy dishes, and noodle-based recipes. A well-known dish featuring mock duck is Kung Pao “duck”, a tasty combination of vegetables, spices, and peanuts in a flavorful sauce.


In Japanese cuisine, both tofu and mock duck are used to create diverse, flavorful dishes. Tofu, being more subtle in flavor, can be easily seasoned to suit different recipes. For instance, it may be served with a light soy-based sauce, combined with vegetables in a hotpot, or included in savory stews. Mock duck, on the other hand, is found in dishes such as Yakisoba2, where it is mixed with noodles, vegetables, and a tangy sauce. Additionally, mock duck can be marinated to replicate the taste and texture of popular Japanese meat-based recipes, such as teriyaki “duck”.


Thai cuisine is known for its vibrant and bold flavors, often built upon a foundation of herbs, spices, and protein sources like tofu and mock duck. Traditional Thai dishes like Pad Thai and red or green curry often include tofu as a go-to vegetarian option. These wholesome dishes are served with sides like coconut rice, noodles, or steamed vegetables, all showcasing Thai flavors.

Mock duck’s firm texture makes it an ideal stand-in for meat in Thai dishes as well3. For example, it can be used in place of chicken, beef, or duck in flavorful Thai wok creations. By incorporating ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, both tofu and mock duck can be transformed into authentic and delectable Thai meal options.

  • Key differences between tofu and mock duck:
    • Tofu: derived from soybeans, soft, white, bland
    • Mock duck: made of wheat gluten, firm, brown, savory

In summary, both tofu and mock duck have found their place in various international cuisines, including Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes. With versatile textures and flavors, these protein-rich ingredients can be incorporated into a range of recipes, from stir-fries and noodle dishes to flavorful curries and stews. By understanding the distinct qualities of tofu and mock duck, chefs and cooks are able to create diverse, delicious, and satisfying meals to suit any palate.


  1. Taste Test: Discover the Difference Between Tofu and Mock Duck!
  2. Yakisoba with Easy Homemade Seitan “Mock Duck”
  3. What Is Mock Duck? Is It Seitan? I’m Confused.

Special Diets and Alternatives

Gluten-Free Options

For those who cannot consume gluten or are on a gluten-free diet, mock duck made from wheat gluten might not be a suitable option. On the other hand, tofu is a great alternative as it is made from soybeans and is naturally gluten-free. Other gluten-free protein-rich options for vegans and vegetarians include tempeh and mushrooms. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and offers a unique texture, while mushrooms provide a meaty, umami flavor.

Balanced Diet

To maintain a balanced diet, including a variety of plant-based protein sources is essential. Both tofu and mock duck can be part of a healthy diet plan. However, it is important to include other protein sources such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds to ensure dietary fiber and other essential nutrients are adequately consumed. In addition to protein, incorporating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will contribute to overall health and wellness.

Dietary Needs

When considering individual dietary needs, both tofu and mock duck offer valuable benefits. Tofu is low in fat and calories but high in protein, making it an excellent choice for weight management and muscle building. It also contains all nine essential amino acids and can be easily incorporated into various dishes due to its versatile texture and mild flavor1.

Mock duck, on the other hand, provides a more dense and savory option. It is high in protein but also contains gluten, making it unsuitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. However, for individuals without gluten restrictions, mock duck can be a delicious and satisfying addition to a plant-based diet2.

In conclusion, both tofu and mock duck can be valuable protein sources for vegans and vegetarians. By considering individual dietary requirements and preferences, one can choose the option that best suits their needs while maintaining a balanced and diverse diet.


  1. Healthline
  2. The Healthy

Additional Ingredients and Enhancements

When comparing mock duck and tofu, it’s important to consider the additional ingredients and enhancements used in preparing these protein-packed foods. Although both originate from soy, their taste, texture, and cooking methods differ. In this section, we’ll dive into the variety of ingredients used to improve the flavors of both mock duck and tofu.

Mock duck is made from wheat gluten, which is derived from soybeans, while tofu is made from condensed soy milk1. Despite their shared origin, the two have distinct characteristics that can be attributed to the additional ingredients used in their recipes. To enhance the taste of mock duck, which is known for its firmer texture and more savory flavor, various ingredients such as soy sauce, fat, and sugar are often incorporated2.

The use of soy sauce brings a rich, umami essence to mock duck, making it more appealing to the palate. The addition of fat not only adds moisture but also contributes to its more authentic meat-like texture. Lastly, sugar serves as a balancing agent, counteracting the savory elements and further elevating the taste profile of mock duck.

On the other hand, tofu is known for its softer consistency and relatively bland taste. To elevate its flavor, ingredients like soy sauce, MSG, and spices are often used. While soy sauce3 adds depth to tofu’s flavor, the inclusion of MSG can provide an extra savory quality.

In some cases, tofu is also enhanced with canned soybeans, which add an additional layer of texture and amplify the dish’s overall taste. Additionally, tofu dishes may include a variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices that can bring extra dimensions to its flavor.

When it comes to the preparation of mock duck and tofu, a variety of culinary techniques can further enhance their taste, such as pan-searing, deep-frying, or baking. For both ingredients, such methods can improve their texture or even introduce a new array of flavors to the dish. However, it’s important to be mindful of the additional ingredients used and ensure that they suit one’s dietary preferences and health requirements.

In summary, when choosing between mock duck and tofu, it’s essential to consider their unique flavors, textures, and the additional ingredients used to accent their taste. With an understanding of their distinct characteristics, as well as the variety of enhancements that can be applied, it becomes easier to select the right option to suit one’s culinary preferences.


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  2. Thrillist
  3. TheHealthy