Can you freeze tofu? Tofu is a food made from soy milk and it’s often used in many Asian cuisines. There are many varieties of this dairy-free food, but they have one thing in common – they go bad pretty quickly. Because of that, one might wonder if freezing tofu to preserve it for later is possible and if it actually makes sense. Fortunately enough, you can freeze your leftover tofu and it’s not difficult to freeze and thaw it with satisfactory results.
How to freeze tofu
Drain the tofu
You should remember that only pretty dry and firm tofu freezes well. Because of that, if your tofu is soft and tender, you need to drain it beforehand. You can do that easily using paper towels. Just unwrap it from its original packaging, an place on a plate (or a cookie sheet) covered with a few layers of paper towels. Once the tofu is on the paper towels, cover it with a paper towel and push it a little. You can even put something on it to provide constant pressure on the tofu. Leave the tofu that way for some time so it’ll dry out. If the paper towels under the tofu are soaked, discard them and place there new ones.
Of course if you wish to, you can freeze tofu in its original packaging as long as you won’t open it before freezing. Keep in mind that freezing tofu this way will result in softer texture and consistency of the product after thawing. Some people like it, others not so much. It’s a matter of personal preferences really. Bear in mind that some ice is going to form inside the package because of the moisture inside. If you decide to freeze tofu without any preparation, just put the package into the freezer and you’re done.
Image used under Creative Commons from Crystal
Packaging tofu and putting it into the freezer
When it comes to packaging tofu, you’ve got a few options. Firstly, you might want to freeze it all in one piece. Just wrap it tightly with cellophane foil or put into a freezer bag. If you want to freeze it for an extended period of time (like a few months), I suggest wrapping it tightly and then placing inside a freezer bag. Before sealing the bag remember to remove all air from it.
If you want to, you might cut tofu into smaller portions before freezing. After cutting you can freeze each part individually (package it as described in the previous section) or wrap each part with foil and put a few portions in one freezer bag. Whichever way works best for you.
There is also a third possibility. Cut tofu into small cubes, place them (in a way that they won’t touch each other) on a cooking sheet or a tray and put into the freezer. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them into a freezer bag. They’re ready to be frozen for the long term. This way you can easily scoop some tofu from the package as you need it.
Tips and additional information about freezing tofu
Remember that tofu darkens a little once frozen, the exact shade depends on how long the product is stored in the freezer. Another thing to keep in mind is that thawed tofu is pretty chunky (depends of how moist it were when put into the freezer). It won’t work well in dishes where its chunky texture is undesirable.
Before putting the package into the freezer remember to date and label it. For best quality, tofu shouldn’t be frozen for more than 5, maybe 6 months. Thawing tofu is easy – just put it into the fridge overnight. If it’s too watery after thawing, just squeeze it over a sink to remove the excess water. If your tofu pieces are of eligible size for the dish you’re cooking, you can directly add frozen tofu (if it’s been drained before freezing, otherwise it might add too muchwater to your dish once thawed) intothe dish.
As you can see, freezing tofu is pretty straightforward and many people freeze it with satisfactory results.