How Long Tofu Lasts In The Fridge Once Opened

Beloved fans of the bean curd block already know this, but having some deliciously flavored tofu on hand can simplify whipping up a satisfying meal on short notice. With all its firm, extra-firm, and silken varieties, the versatile soya curd can become the star ingredient of dishes as diverse as stir-fries, sandwiches, soups, and even creamy desserts. If you're convinced already, the next logical question should be — how long can I keep tofu in the fridge once it's opened?

Sure, you can use the entire pack, but that's not always feasible, and you're not about to toss it out. While cooking it increases its shelf life marginally, raw tofu only lasts in the fridge for a matter of days, provided it is stored properly. To ensure you have tofu on hand at all times, you may have to freeze it. As always, when storing food to use at a later stage, make sure to label it with the date so you can keep track of how old it is. And most crucially, do a sight, smell, and taste test before using it in a dish.

Cooked tofu lasts longer than raw tofu in the fridge

Different kinds of tofu have varying shelf lives, with the firm variety able to last for up to five days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. Andrea Nguyen, author of Asian Tofu, specifies that silken tofu must be used within a day or two of opening.

Due to its relatively short shelf life in the refrigerator, if you plan on consuming tofu multiple times a week, it's a good idea to cook it all in one go. Historically, tofu in China was often fried or marinated in soy sauce, salt, or spices to preserve it longer. Though a cooked tofu dish can last up to a week in the fridge, if it contains other ingredients that spoil quickly, it may shorten the shelf life. For anything longer than a week, store tofu in the freezer, where it can last for up to three months.

When cooking with tofu stored in the fridge or freezer, make it a point to check for spoilage. The most obvious sign of tofu that's gone bad is a sour smell emanating from the container it is stored in. Other signals to look out for are dark spots, a slimy texture, or the water surrounding it looking cloudy or murky. If you notice any of these, throw the tofu block out. If it all looks, smells, and feels fine, do a taste test to check for offbeat flavors before proceeding.

Tips for storing and freezing opened tofu

If you plan on using tofu within three to five days, storing it in the fridge is best. Use an airtight container filled with clean water to place your tofu block or chunks in. The water should cover the tofu, leaving no part exposed, and it is essential to change the water daily to maintain freshness. Both firm and silken tofu can be stored this way.

To freeze tofu, you can either portion it according to how much you'll need the next time or freeze the whole block. Firm tofu should be placed in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container before freezing. Regarding silken tofu, Nguyen advises us to cut it into rectangles and freeze it on a parchment-lined tray before putting the pieces into a freezer-safe airtight container.

However, this affects the texture of the tofu, making it more chewy once defrosted. Firm tofu will take on a meat-like consistency; when using it as a meat substitute, you can consider freezing firm tofu overnight to make its consistency feel authentic. Silken tofu also becomes sturdier when frozen, making it unsuitable for creamy sauces and desserts but easier to handle and cut into pieces for soups and stir-fries. Frozen tofu can sometimes turn brown, but it regains its original color once defrosted. Ultimately, as long as you store it correctly, having tofu on hand is quite simple despite its relatively short shelf life in the refrigerator.