Freezing Tofu: Improved Texture and Longer Shelf Life

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – AllyBally4b

Can you freeze tofu? You bet! Freezing tofu not only keeps it fresher for longer, it also makes it tastier when you cook it. We’ll show you how to freeze tofu properly, and share some important tips.

Can You Freeze Tofu?

Yes, freezing tofu is possible, it actually improves its texture. Frozen tofu will stay fresh for up to six months. 

If you find yourself in one of the following situations, learning how to freeze tofu will help you help the environment by reducing your food waste.

  • The expiration date on your tofu is coming up and you don’t have time to use it. 
  • You have an open package of tofu that you’re not ready to finish.

Can tofu really be frozen without changing the texture?

No, freezing tofu will always change the texture. But that’s actually good news, not bad. Tofu contains a large amount of water. So when tofu freezes, the water droplets expand as they get colder, creating enlarged pores inside the block. This improves the tofu’s ability to soak up marinades and sauces when it’s thawed. 

Whether freezing your tofu will make it firmer or softer will depend on what type you’re using.

  • Regular tofu will become firmer, which is great if you’re planning on breading the slices, using them in a stir-fry, or making vegan feta cheese.
  • If you’re using silken tofu, it will become softer, which makes it easier to use for things like vegan Bolognese, vegan cheesecakes, or vegan chocolate mousse.
  • Some brands of tofu might turn slightly yellow when frozen, but the discoloration usually disappears again once the tofu is back at room temperature.

Don’t forget! You can also make silken tofu yourself. Check out our article on silken tofu for our DIY recipe and tips.

How to Freeze and Thaw Tofu: Tips

Freezing tofu
Tofu is considered part of a healthy diet because it is high in protein but low in fat. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Yuelanliu)
  1. Pack the tofu in an airtight container. If it is still in its original vacuum packing from the supermarket, you can freeze it as is it. It’s important that the tofu doesn’t come into contact with the air so that it doesn’t dry out or develop freezer burn. 
  2. Before freezing the tofu, try cutting it into portions so that you can thaw out only as much as you need. 
  3. Leave the tofu in the freezer for at least half a day, to make sure it’s frozen all the way through. Then you can thaw it out again and take advantage of the texture change. 
  4. When the tofu is thawed, season and marinate it however you wish. 

The best way to thaw tofu is to take transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you want to use it. 

Which Tofu is Best?

Can tofu be frozen
Soy is often called the “King of Beans”. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Gohu)

Because soy agriculture is such a huge industry, it has caused widespread forestation and damaged the livelihood of small farmers and indigenous people all over the world, especially in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. To promote the sourcing of ethical soy, we recommend buying (and freezing) only organic tofu. According to the Cornucopia Institute, brands like Eden Foods, FarmSoy, and Tofurkey “go above and beyond to ensure that the soy products they market are responsibly sourced…”, while brands like Kirkland, Lightlife, and Silk provide “little to no information on their practices”. 

Tip: If you’re a vegan and you’re sick of tofu, check out our recipes for homemade tempeh, or soy-free chickpea tofu to switch up your favorite dishes. Also learn what seitan is made of and how to prepare it.

This article was translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original version here: Tofu einfrieren: Das solltest du beachten

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