How To Freeze And Defrost Tofu For The Best Results

Tofu can be added to a wide variety of dishes — because of this, it's good to have tofu on hand. But if you buy tofu and aren't sure when you're going to be using it, then it makes sense to freeze the tofu so that it lasts longer.

If the tofu package is sealed and unopened, you can simply pop that into the freezer. However, if the package is opened, then you need to transfer the tofu that you wish to freeze to an airtight container or a sealable freezer bag. Before you seal it into its new container, make sure to dry it as much as possible. With this method, the tofu will last for up to three months, which is significantly more time than the mere days it lasts in the fridge.

When it comes time to defrost it, transfer it to the fridge one or two days before you plan to start cooking with it.

The freezer changes the texture of tofu — and it may be for the better

While freezing tofu is a great way to store it for a long period of time, there is one caveat: The freezer changes the texture of tofu. Essentially, tofu is made up of mostly water and that water expands when it's frozen — this changes the original structure and texture of the tofu. The water expansion breaks up the molecules, leaving small holes behind caused by the thawing of the ice crystals that formed. As a result, the tofu becomes spongier and chewier than it was before.

Luckily, the change in tofu's structure can be a good thing. The freezing process actually makes the tofu stronger and, thus, able to better hold its shape when it's mixed into dishes. Thanks to there being less water, the tofu becomes chewier and more meat-like, which can be a major plus for those looking to eat less meat without having to sacrifice everything meat brings to the table. Finally, the small holes that form on the tofu become vessels to hold spices and marinades better — meaning that the tofu becomes even more flavorful.