How To Store Tofu For Longer Storage

Save your tokwa from going sour with this storing tip.

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If you love tokwa or tofu, you know that this food has a short shelf-life. It can start to smell and taste sour even if you store it in the refrigerator. 

That's because this fresh, plant-based food is highly perishable. If you're not doing it already, you should be changing the water that tofu is stored in every day. This is especially important to do for tofu packages that have already been opened so you can avoid developing sour-tasting tofu. Tofu in water that has turned cloudy should be changed immediately since this is a sign that bacterial growth has begun and should be either cooked immediately if not soon. 

However, if you have tofu that you know you will not be using within two weeks at the most, you should prepare it for longer food storage. While storing tofu submerged in clear water can last as long as 10 days, storing tofu for a longer period of time needs another tactic. 

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Photo by Majoy Siason
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Save your tokwa from going sour in storage with this storing tip: freeze it. Freezing it can make tofu last for as long as 3 months, longer if you keep it wrapped well so it won't suffer from freezer burn and absorb aromas from the freezer. 

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Freezing tofu may sound like an insult to fresh tofu, but in fact, freezing tofu transforms the tofu in an unexpected way. There are some benefits to freezing tofu. What happens when you freeze tofu? 

1 Frozen tofu changes its texture. 

Freezing tofu is said to create a more meaty texture than the smooth texture that softer tofu such as taho has. This is caused by the water in the tofu freezing. Water expands when turned into ice so this actually creates bigger holes in the tofu, pushing or squeezing the tofu together to create a texture that has more firm parts.  

Since it's firmer, it's easier to slice or even crumble into tofu scramble ala scrambled eggs. 

2 Frozen tofu is even better at absorbing sauces. 

Frozen tofu makes it more absorbent of sauces, liquids, and other seasonings. While tokwa or extra firm tofu is already sponge-like in texture, freezing it makes it more so. Remember the ice that froze? The water may thaw but the tofu maintains its shape, leaving open pockets where marinades, sauces, soups, and other ingredients occupy that space. That means better tasting tokwa. 

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How do you freeze tofu? Simply place the unopened package in the freezer. If you have opened the package already, you can submerge the tofu in fresh water and freeze it in the water. Just thaw it as you would normally and use the tofu as the recipe recommends. If you want to conserve freezer space, you can prepare the tofu to be frozen as squares or blocks. You can also blot the water from the tofu as much as possible using kitchen or paper towels before freezing. 

Try it the next time you have extra tofu on hand. Then use it in any of these recipes in these lists: 

Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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