Have you ever had any leftover tofu that you really didn’t want to discard, but you couldn’t use it before it would go bad either? If so, freezing tofu might be the solution you’re looking for. If you’ve interested in freezing this soy product, read on!
How to freeze tofu
How you should know before freezing tofu
First thing you should know is that tofu darkens a little when frozen. The longer it’s in the freezer, the darker it becomes. That’s why in dishes where its appearance is very important, freezing it for a long period of time and then using in them wouldn’t be a good choice. Another thing to note is the tofu’s texture changes a little after freezing and thawing – it becomes a little chunky (depending on how much water was in it when put into the freezer). If chunky tofu is not what you want in a certain dish, freezing it isn’t a good idea.
Image used under Creative Commons from United Soybean Board
Dry and firm tofu freezes quite well, so the first thing (if it’s soft and watery) you need to do is to drain this gluten-free product. Take a place, place few paper towels on it and transfer the tofu onto the plate. On top of it place few paper towels as well. To make this process even more efficient you might place a plate on top of the paper towels to add some pressure and remove more water from tofu. When bottom or top paper towels are soaking wet, replace them with new ones. After you’ve removed all the unnecessary water from the tofu, you’re ready to package it.
One thing to note – if you haven’t opened the original package yet, you don’t have to open it and drain the product. However, if the tofu will be watery, ice will be formed and the texture after thawing will be different. Some people are OK with that, while others aren’t. It’s a matter of personal preference, so probably you will have to test it out on your own and decide if you’re satisfied with the results.
If you’ve decided to keep tofu in its original package, just transfer it into a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air, seal it and transfer into the freezer. Done.
If you’re freezing drained tofu, there are a few things you might want to do. First, you should decide whether you want to freeze the whole tofu, or maybe cut it into few smaller pieces, so you won’t have to thaw it all at once? It’s your choice. Now, as you have prepared tofu in desired sizes and shapes, it’s time to package it. If you’ve decided to cut it into few portions, wrap each portion with a freezer wrap or cellophane and then transfer each wrapped portion into one freezer bag. If you’ve decided to freeze whole tofu, just transfer it into a freezer bag. Now squeeze all the air from the bag, seal it, date and label it and transfer into the freezer. It ce be stored there for up to half a year (of course you can keep it there for longer, but the quality after that time might not be top-notch).
One last tip – if you plan to freeze tofu for longer than a couple of months, it’s a good idea to double wrap it to avoid freezer burn.
As you can see, freezing tofu isn’t that difficult. Actually, it’s pretty straight-forward. Just make sure tofu is drained before freezing and it will freeze quite well. When freezing it for the first time, I suggest freezing only a small amount of tofu to test the waters. If you’re satisfied with the taste and texture, you’re free to freeze tofu wherever you need to. If it didn’t work out so well, try another method, wrap it tighter or make sure it’s drained before freezing. When it comes to thawing tofu, put it in the refrigerator the day before you’ll need it.