Have you ever wondered how to freeze tofu?
If you have a block of tofu barreling down on its expiration date, stick that bad boy in the freezer!
What’s impressive about freezing tofu is that it gets better once frozen. What other meat or veggies can say that?
Once all those water particles in the tofu freeze, tiny holes in the tofu give it a meatier, chewy texture.
Frozen tofu also absorbs sauces much better than fresh tofu and offers a firmer consistency if frozen correctly.
It takes a few extra steps, but it’s worth it for the best tofu you’ve had in your life!
So, let’s dive into how to freeze tofu and incorporate these magical soybeans into your next meal.
How to Freeze Tofu
Freezing tofu isn’t just about preserving it before it expires.
Frozen tofu tastes better than fresh, and it’s much easier to fry or marinate.
There are a few ways to freeze tofu, and each method yields different results.
You can freeze it in its original packaging, drain it and place it in freezer bags, or chop it into pieces for better portion control.
If you don’t have time to press your tofu before freezing, you can pop the entire block in its packaging right into your freezer.
While it keeps the block tofu fresher for longer, it turns a bit mushy once it’s thawed.
I only recommend this method for soft tofu for soups or vegan cheeses.
It’ll save your tofu from going bad if it’s close to its expiration date, but it won’t make it taste better.
Extra firm tofu is what you want if you want to recreate a meaty texture in your dinner dishes.
Before you pop it into the freezer, ensure that you drain as much water as possible.
After draining, the water from the package, press out as much water as possible.
You can use a heavy kitchen item like a heavy pan or invest in a tofu press.
I’ve tried the homemade press option and found that a handy dandy tofu press works much better.
Expertly draining tofu takes time, so be patient.
You can place pressed tofu as an entire block in the freezer or cut it into cubes.
If you put it in the freezer in cubes, layer them on a baking sheet and flash-freeze them before sticking them in a freezer bag.
A quick flash-freeze prevents tofu cubes from sticking together in the freezer.
Frozen tofu is good for four to six months in the freezer.
While it’s still likely safe to eat after its expiration date, the flavor and the firm texture suffers.
How to Thaw Tofu
It’s super important that you allow the frozen tofu to thaw completely before using it.
If you don’t, it won’t absorb the sauces and turns to mush once it hits the pan.
There are a few simple ways to thaw your tofu before using it.
The best method for thawing tofu is to stick it in the fridge the night before using it.
Be sure to place it in a bowl to catch the excess water once it thaws, or you’ll have a puddle of tofu water in your fridge. No one wants that.
If you’re short on time, there are a few ways to speed up the thawing process.
You can place frozen tofu into a bowl of hot water or pop it into the microwave on defrost mode.
No matter what thawing method you select, frozen tofu needs another draining round.
Place your tofu on your tofu press or use paper towels to wring out excess water.
It’s important to note that frozen tofu doesn’t look the same as fresh.
After an extended stay in the freezer, frozen tofu turns slightly yellow.
Fear not, as it’s completely normal and doesn’t mean that your tofu has gone bad.
When soy proteins freeze, it’s natural for them to turn a bit yellow.
How to Use Frozen Tofu
The great thing about frozen tofu is that it tastes better than fresh.
Whether you fry, marinate, or throw it in a soup, it’s better.
Check out some cooking methods below to transform meatless Monday into a meal everyone will love.
Frying fresh tofu is tricky.
Oil and water don’t necessarily jive very well in the pan.
This makes it challenging to achieve that perfectly crisp exterior with a soft and tender interior.
Frozen tofu drains its water better than fresh, making it the perfect candidate for frying.
Frozen tofu has a meatier texture that’s perfect for frying crispy tofu pieces for tacos, salads, or vegan Chinese takeout-inspired recipes.
Marinading your frozen tofu picks up sauces like a dream.
Since it has a sponge-like consistency, it has more tiny little holes to pick up flavorful sauces.
Marinate frozen tofu in delicious marinades like stir-fries, and let your thawed tofu marinate for at least 24 hours for ultimate flavor.
Another quick and easy way to utilize frozen tofu is by adding it to any soup or stew.
It absorbs the rich flavors of the soup and lends a chewy and meaty texture with an added boost of protein.
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