Can You Freeze Tofu?


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Originating in China, this block of soybeans, water and coagulant is made in a process similar to making cheese. It is a staple in Asian cuisine and can be used in many ways depending on what kind of tofu it is. 

Some are GMO but there haven’t been safety concerns linked to this kind of tofu and it is safe to eat. If you are concerned about this, opt for the non-GMO, organic tofu brands. 

This block of soy is used in many recipes and even used as a meat substitute as a healthier alternative. If you end up with more tofu than you will eat in the upcoming week, can you freeze it?

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You can freeze tofu. Freezing it will help preserve the tofu until you want to use it and will keep it good for up to 3 months. 

Tofu is a food made up of condensed soy milk pressed into blocks. This process is similar to cheese making. There is a legend centered around tofu saying that it was discovered more than 2,000 years ago by a Chinese cook who accidentally mixed a batch of fresh soy milk with nigari (what is left over when salt is extracted from seawater and helps tofu to keep its form). 

Soft tofu breaks up well and is an egg substitute and added to soups. Medium to firm tofu holds its shape when cooked and is often used for soups, stews, curries, searing, and baking. 

Firm and extra firm tofu can be marinated, grilled, fried, and can be used in stir fries and noodle dishes.

To store tofu, first you want to submerge the bean curd in cold water and refrigerate it in an air-tight container. Be sure to replace the water every day for up to a week and if the food starts to smell bad or taste sour, toss it out. 

To freeze the block of tofu, begin by slicing it into thin pieces or chunks. Freezing the whole block of tofu will take longer to thaw but if you keep it whole it may result in better textured tofu. 

Store it in an airtight container or a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When it is time to use the frozen tofu, thaw it in the refrigerator. 

Now you can keep tofu for weeks and months without it going bad. So, you can pop it out of the freezer to use whenever you want to make a recipe with tofu.

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Can You Freeze Tofu In The Package? 

Freezing tofu is simple and easy but there are some tricks that may help it to taste better after it has been frozen. Instead of cutting it, can you freeze tofu in the package?

You can freeze tofu in its package. Although it will take longer to thaw, some say that freezing it this way will preserve its texture.

Now, there is some contradiction when it comes to how to freeze tofu. I will explain both ways in this article and let you choose how you want to do it and what works best for you. 

First, it is said that freezing the whole block will take longer to thaw but if you keep it whole it will also result in better textured tofu. Pockets of water run through the tofu and freezing it will trap the water inside of it and cause it to expand making the pores bigger. 

Then you will end up with coarser tofu so after freezing the texture won’t be the same as before. 

If you are worried about the texture then try freezing the entire block. If not, cut it into chunks and freeze this way. 

If you have an unopened package of tofu, try just freezing it this way. It will save you time and some people even feel that it tastes better. Freezing the tofu first and then cutting it into chunks later seems to result in better textured blocks than cutting it into cubes before freezing. 

You don’t have to drain the tofu, just put it into the freezer and store it until you wish to use it. 

Does Freezing Tofu Ruin It? 

We know that you can freeze tofu to save it for future use but will the freezing process ruin it? WIll it still taste good and have a good texture after being frozen for weeks or months?

Freezing tofu is safe and it will still be good afterwards. If you do not drain the tofu it may result in having a softer consistency than tofu that has been drained before freezing.

The other way to freeze tofu advising you to drain it first (also called pressing tofu). This removes water from it to prevent ice from forming during the freezing process. If the tofu contains a lot of water the ice can form on the outside and inside of the food. 

To drain it, just open up the package and drain out the water. Remove the tofu from the package and place on a cutting board that has been covered in paper towels. Lay more paper towels over the tofu and place something heavy on top of it to press out all their remaining moisture. 

Let it sit there and drain for about 15 minutes then remove the weight and throw away the paper towels. Place the tofu inside a freezer bag, remove any air and seal the bag. 

Before you cook the tofu, thaw it in the refrigerator. Having explained two different ways to freeze tofu, you can choose what is the best way for you. It all comes down to how you want your tofu to taste and your own personal preference. 

Final Thoughts

Tofu is a healthy food that is sometimes substituted for meat. You can buy GMO or non-GMO tofu depending on what you prefer. It has a lot of nutrients and is even good for some health conditions. 

If you like to eat tofu and have a lot of it taking up room in your refrigerator, you may worry about it going bad. No worries! You can freeze it to save it for later without it going bad. 

Follow the freezing tips mentored in this article to store your tofu in the freezer. 

There are two different ways to freeze it, in the package or drained and cut into chunks. Either way, you can freeze the soy block and have it on hand whenever you are going to be making tofu recipes.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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