If you’re looking for a simple answer,
YES, you can freeze Tofu.
Chances are however that if you asked this question, you may want to know :
- how to freeze tofu,
- why it’s actually great idea, and
- what to do to make tofu taste amazing !
So if you want to know can you freeze tofu, and what to do with it later, read on and be prepared to love Tofu!
Why do we love tofu?
- it is full of protein, containing all nine essential amino acids
- it’s great source of fiber, calcium and magnesium
- it is cholesterol free
- it is so easy to prepare
- tofu is very universal, can be used in savory and sweet dishes, including desserts
- it CAN TASTE LIKE ANYTHING you want it to !!!
If you want to learn about other benefits of tofu here’s a great resource.
When to freeze Tofu?
FOR LATER USE
Apart from the obvious, when you have too much and want to use it much later, you may be surprised that there are more reasons to freeze tofu.
FOR BETTER TEXTURE
If you want to use tofu in dishes that are supposed to mimic meat, like this Tofu That Tastes Like Chicken, cutlets, stir fries or Tofu Burgers. It is good idea to freeze it first.
If you want to marinate your tofu, make sure to freeze it first, even just for one night. It will soak up all the flavors of the marinade and become very juicy.
When NOT to freeze Tofu?
IF YOU CARE FOR SMOOTH TEXTURE
If you want to use your tofu to prepare anything with smooth creamy texture = like vegan cheesecake, cream cheese, any bread spread, smoothie or ice cream (yes, you can use tofu to make ice cream!).
FOR TOFU SCRAMBLE OR OMLETTE
How to freeze Tofu and what to do next?
Spongy, chewy texture of tofu that was frozen makes it excellent meat replacement. Tofu prepared this way will soak up any flavor you want.
What is the best way to freeze tofu? Let’s check our options.
Total Time: 1 day
1. FREEZE IN ORIGINAL PACKAGING
1. It couldn’t be easier – just throw the packaged tofu into the freezer and that’s it.
2. To thaw it, just place it on the counter for few hours or in the fridge overnight.
3. When you open the packaging you will find considerable amount of water, so you will have to press the tofu before you use it.
*More about pressing tofu in additional notes below.
2. FREEZE IN MARINADE
1. Take tofu out of the packaging and press it to get rid of excess water.
2. Cut tofu depending how you’re going to use it. If you want cutlets or Tofu Burgers, just slice them.
If you want to add tofu in the stir fry or soup you may want to use cubes.
3. Put the tofu in the marinade of your choice and make sure it covers all pieces well. Remember your marinade may consist of liquids like soy sauce or lemon juice, but also spices – garlic powder, smoked paprika, etc.
4. Place tofu with marinade in a plastic air tight container. Close and place in the freezer.
5. Let it thaw for few hours, or use microwave if you want to speed up the process.
3. FREEZE WITHOUT LIQUID
If you want to use your tofu immediately when out of the freezer (in soups or stews) you may want to freeze it without any liquid. The texture may turn out a little less spongy, as liquid is important factor in creating the desired structure.
1. Open the packaging and press your tofu to get rid of excess liquid.
2. Cut it the way you see fit (chunks, slices, stripes).
3. Place tofu in plastic container or freezer foil bags.
4. Your tofu is ready to jump into a soup or stew after you take it out of the freezer.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU
- Most common way is to place tofu on a plate (between kitchen towels) and put something heavy on top – another plate and few books for example. After 15-30 minutes excess liquid should be out.
- If I’m in a rush I just put tofu between palms of my hands and gently squeeze it over the sink, until there’s no more liquid dripping out.
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Why it’s a great idea to freeze Tofu?
Tofu after being frozen, even for one night, changes. It becomes more firm and slightly more chewy, but the most awesome thing – it’s structure becomes similar to sponge.
What does it mean to us?
First of all it has a better texture to be used in dishes that resemble meat. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, just as a dry sponge, it soaks up any liquid – for example marinade with all the amazing flavors we want tofu to absorb.
How is that possible?
If you’re curious here’s a bit of science.
Liquid inside tofu, when frozen forms crystals and affects the texture. When the tofu thaws, the water drips out leaving spongy structure (little bubbles of air).
After you press tofu to get rid of all the liquid, the little air pockets are left, ready to absorb the marinade.
Vegan cooking is real alchemy 🙂
Few recipes where to use tofu that was frozen
You already know what type of dishes will benefit from frozen tofu. Let’s see some luscious examples to sparkle your creativity.
Crispy Tofu Chicken with fresh colorful vegetables and creamy dressing. This salad is not only a delicious side dish, it can be perfect lunch dish with piece of fresh bread or baguette.
Perfectly crispy outside with a juicy inside full of flavors this Tofu Fried Chicken will make you addicted to tofu. It is super easy to make and requires only few basic ingredients.
Quick and easy recipe for crispy fried tofu cutlet that is full of flavors. Crunchy on the outside and delicate inside. Crispy Fried Tofu Cutlet is one of the easiest ways to prepare tofu for quick dinner.
How long can you freeze tofu?
Freezing is one of the best way to preserve foods, but I wouldn’t keep tofu in the freezer longer than 4 months. Some sources claim that even 6 month up to a year it’s ok, but do you really need to keep it frozen that long?