How Long Does Tofu Last

How Long Does Tofu Last

If you’re wondering how long does tofu last, the first thing you have to know is that it all depends on when you plan to use it. The key to making tofu last longer is to use the right storage method.

All tofu lovers know that the trickiest thing about tofu is when recipes don’t call for an entire block because you have to store the leftovers properly so they won’t go bad.

Let’s kick things off with some important details about shelf life and expiration date. Then we will move to storage methods and tips for making tofu last longer.

Can Tofu Go Bad?

Most people believe that tofu cannot go bad but, as with most foods out there, tofu does expire and can go bad. Even if you perfectly store tofu and you follow all the indications below, you will still reach the point at which tofu expires. Be extremely careful and store in an appropriate way to extend its shelf life if you don’t want to throw it away.

How Long Will Tofu Last?

Fresh tofu usually lasts up to five days after the date that is listed on the package. However, there are different things that need to be considered. Tofu shelf life depends on various factors, such as the preparation method, storage method, and sell-by date.

In order to make tofu, soybeans are soaked, grounded, strained and boiled so that soy milk is obtained. The milk is curdled and then pressed right into the blocks you see in the supermarket. Tofu is completely plant-based but it is very rich in calcium and protein. This makes it a great meat and cheese for those that do not consume meat or dairy. That’s why tofu is very popular in vegan and vegetarian dishes.

When Does Tofu Expire?

Tofu that is kept in the refrigerator can last up to five days after the printed expiration date. However, if you open the tofu package, you have to consume it within five days. When you keep tofu in the freezer and you use appropriate storage methods, it can last three to five months more than the printed date.

How To Tell If Tofu Is Spoiled, Rotten Or Bad?

Even if you properly and carefully stored tofu, you still need to inspect it before you eat it to be sure that it did not go bad, rot or ended up being spoiled. Usually, in order to tell if tofu is still good to eat, you need to use your senses.

You can tell tofu is bad when it changes color and it goes from pure white to a deeper tan white. Also, when tofu has gone bad the smell becomes sour.

Remember that fresh tofu does not smell. If you notice a sour smell and taste, tofu is bad.

How To Store Tofu

cooking with tofu

The best way to store tofu and keep it fresh for a longer period of time is to store it inside the refrigerator as soon as the package is opened. After opening, tofu has to stay covered in water. The water that you use has to be changed every day. Preferably, use filtered water.

After you prepare it, tofu has to be stored in an airtight container inside the refrigerator so that moisture is kept out, together with other possible contaminants.

If you want to store for a long time, the best solution is to freeze tofu. This does preserve the taste and all you need is a container that is freezer safe. Make sure that you drain the water and that you wrap the tofu with plastic wrap first. Wrap the tofu tightly and then put it inside the container, in the freezer.

Remember that tofu that was defrosted has an altered texture. Firmness will be different but some people actually prefer this.

Other Important Things To Remember About Tofu Storage:

  • When you buy tofu that was stored on an aseptic container right on a shelf in the grocery store, it can stay on that shelf in your pantry until the package is opened. After the package is opened though, it has to be refrigerated and eaten in under five days.
  • When you buy tofu from the grocery store’s refrigerator section, the package has to stay refrigerated at home.
  • Firm tofu is preferred for the stir-fry dishes and silken tofu is better for desserts. You find these varieties in different parts of the store so buy according to what you want to cook.
  • When you buy too much tofu and it might go bad, brown it on high heat as you constantly stir. Then, drain all the extra moisture and store the tofu inside the fridge. Make sure it is tightly covered. This will extend the shelf life of tofu for an additional five days.
  • When you use tofu inside a dish, how long it lasts depends on the recipe and its quickest to-go-bad ingredient.

Is It Ok To Eat Tofu Past Its Expiration Date?

When the package was not opened, tofu is completely safe to be consumed for up to two months after the manufacturing date. If you freeze tofu and keep it inside the freezer, it can even last for years. However, generally speaking, the maximum tofu freezing time is three to four months. Anything past that could not be safe so you need to check the tofu before you consume it or you use it in recipes.

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