How Long Does Tofu Last?

Soybeans are soaked, crushed, heated, then drained into soy milk to make tofu. The curdled milk is then squeezed into bricks. Tofu is a popular meat substitute since it is plant-based and high in protein and calcium. Because of its capacity to absorb other flavors, it’s a particularly superb chicken substitute. All of these characteristics make it a popular ingredient in a variety of vegetarian cuisines.

With the growing number of people adopting a vegan diet, whether for health, ethical reasons, or environmental concerns, more of us are trying out tofu for the first time. While tofu is a very flexible and nutritious food, it is unlike any other food, so you may be unsure about the essentials, such as how to store tofu, how to prepare it, how to determine if tofu is bad, and so on.

We’ll look at storage, shelf life, and other safety concerns in this post to ensure that you can enjoy your tofu without fear of it going bad or making you sick.

So, how long does tofu last? A pack of fresh tofu will keep for 3-5 days after the expiration date, yet there are a lot of other factors to assess. Tofu’s shelf life is determined by a number of factors like the sell-by date, the manner of preparation, and storage of the tofu.

Unopened tofu lasts for 3-5 days (past the printing date) in the fridge and 3-5 months in the freezer. Opened tofu lasts 3-5 days in the fridge (the best by date doesn’t matter in this case), and 3-5 months in the freezer. 

Of course, if foods are not stored properly, they will last for a shorter period of time. Proteins, on the other hand, usually have a sell-by date rather than an expiration date. That’s why, if tofu was stored properly, you can safely use it to compliment your favorite foods even after the sell-by date has passed.

How do you know when tofu goes bad?

Your senses are usually the most trustworthy instruments for determining if your tofu has gone bad, albeit they aren’t ideal. A shift in color from white to a deeper tan and a sour odor are two classic signs of poor tofu. Because fresh tofu doesn’t have much of a fragrance, when you receive a sour smell, the taste will be sour as well. 

Of course, there are some health hazards linked with rotting goods, so always remember to practice food safety and consume your food before its expiration date!

How long does tofu last at room temperature?

If you leave tofu out and exposed,  at room temperature, it may soon become a breeding ground for all kinds of terrible bacteria, just like any other damp/moisture-filled food. You should try to avoid leaving it out on the counter or table uncovered at all times, but if it’s only for a meal, such as a tofu salad that you don’t finish, and you keep the leftovers refrigerated in a sealed tub or covered dish, you should be fine.

How long does tofu last in the fridge?

If it’s unopened, the use-by date on the package will offer you the most accurate estimate of the shelf life. If it’s been opened, refrigerated tofu will last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator if properly maintained. If you keep it any longer, there’s a chance it’ll spoil, especially if the refrigerator door is opened regularly. 

If you’ve been removing it frequently to chop and utilize in meal preparation, reduce the amount by a couple of days. The easiest method to be sure of is to trust your eyes and nose, as we mentioned earlier. If something doesn’t look quite right or smells off, don’t try it since you might become sick.

Your tofu can spoil in the fridge. If your tofu is over its expiration date and you’ve kept it refrigerated, it’s possible that you need to be more careful with how you keep it. If you leave it in the fridge uncovered, it will be exposed to microorganisms from other foods and may absorb flavors from pungent foods like garlic or onions. 

Can you freeze tofu?

Tofu can be frozen without issue. Some people believe that freezing tofu makes it more absorbent once defrosted, allowing it to absorb more flavor from whatever it’s cooked with. However, don’t freeze tofu in full blocks for optimal results. 

If you slice it up into around one-inch cubes before freezing it, you’ll get better results. This also means you won’t have to chop through a big block of frozen tofu to get the exact amount you need out of the freezer later.

Before freezing, you should aim to reduce the water content as much as you can. To absorb any excess liquid, place the cut cubes on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and place a heavy object on the tops, such as a cookbook or frying pan, to gently press the water out of the tofu if left for 10 or twenty minutes. For added convenience, a tofu press can be used. 

In the freezer, tofu will keep for 3-5 months. It will probably still be safe to consume after that time, but the flavor and texture will have deteriorated.

How long can cooked tofu be kept?

When compared to raw tofu, cooked tofu has a slightly longer shelf life, usually an extra 2 or 3 days. If you have a lot of raw tofu and want to consume it all in the same week, you can prepare it all at once and save some in the fridge for 6-7 days.

Tofu that has been cooked does not freeze properly. Although it is safe to do so, most people do not enjoy the change in texture. Whether you want to give it a shot, start with a small quantity and see if the stiffer, chewier texture bothers you before freezing the entire batch. It will keep in the freezer for a few months if you don’t mind the texture change as we stated above with raw tofu.

We hope that these guidelines have alleviated any concerns you may have about correctly keeping tofu, whether it’s packaged, unwrapped, raw, or cooked. There are no promises about how long tofu will stay fresh, just as there are no guarantees about how long any other food will stay fresh, and there are many factors that can lengthen or shorten its shelf life. So use the recommendations above as a starting point, and always check for yourself – remember, if it doesn’t look or smell right, it generally won’t taste good either.

Best way to store tofu?

Tofu may be kept fresher for longer if it is stored in the refrigerator immediately after use. Tofu must be kept covered in water that is changed at least once a day, ideally with filtered water, once it has been opened. To keep moisture and other contaminants out, tofu should be stored in a firmly closed container in the refrigerator once it has been cooked. 

If you choose a freezer-safe container, you may freeze your tofu for a longer period of time while maintaining its flavor. Before placing the product in the freezer container, drain the water from the product and cover it tightly in plastic wrap. Defrosted tofu has a different texture, which varies depending on the firmness of the tofu, which some people prefer.


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