Sustainability made simple

Freezing Tofu Instantly Levels Up Your Cooking — Here’s How (4 Tips & Tricks)

frozen tofu with marinade
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Yu Jinyang

Can you freeze tofu? You bet! Freezing tofu improves its texture, makes it tastier when you cook it and keeps it fresh for longer. Let’s look at how to freeze tofu and thaw it properly.

First Thing First: Can You Freeze Tofu?

Yes. Not only is freezing tofu possible, it actually improves its texture. Tofu that’s been frozen is slightly chewier, more toothsome and feels more substantial. It’s also easier to cook, as it stays together better and absorbs sauces and marinades well. Freezing tofu keeps it fresh for up to six months — so you can grab a few packages if it’s on sale and not worry about it going bad.

Learning how to freeze tofu saves money and makes it easier to help the environment by reducing food waste. Knowing how to freeze tofu is especially helpful if:

  • 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.

Does Frozen Tofu Always Have a Different Texture?

Yes, freezing tofu will always change the texture. But that’s actually good news! Tofu contains a large amount of water, so when you freeze it, the water droplets expand — creating enlarged pores inside the block. Once thawed, this improves tofu’s ability to soak up marinades and sauces when you cook it. 

Whether freezing tofu makes it firmer or softer depends on what type you use.

  • Regular and firm tofu gets even firmer, which is great if you’re planning on breading the slices, using them in a stir-fry or making vegan feta cheese.
  • Freezing silken tofu has the opposite effect: it becomes softer, which makes it easier to use in dishes like vegan Bolognese, vegan cheesecakes or vegan chocolate mousse.
  • Some brands of tofu might turn slightly yellow when put in the freezer, 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.

4 Tips for Freezing Tofu and Thawing It Properly

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 put it directly into the freezer. It’s important that the tofu doesn’t come into contact with air so it doesn’t dry out or develop freezer burn
  2. Before freezing tofu, try cutting it into portions (cubes are great for stir-frys) so that you can thaw out only as much as you want to cook. 
  3. Leave the tofu in the freezer for at least half a day to make sure it frozes all the way through. Then you can thaw it out to enjoy the texture change. 
  4. When your tofu thaws, season and marinate it however you wish. 

The best way to thaw tofu is to transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you want to cook 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 deforestation 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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