We always want to get the best value for our money, especially when it comes to food. In order to get the best out of the tofu that you buy, you will need to store it properly. We will find ways on how to help you get the best out of your tofu by extending its shelf life.
How Long Does Tofu Last?
In general, tofu will last for as long as it is unopened, provided that you check the expiration date on the packaging. However, once the tofu has been opened, it must be consumed within 3 to 5 days. Otherwise, the tofu can become rotten or spoiled.
Moreover, it is important to store the leftover tofu in an airtight container while it is submerged in fresh water. In addition to this, your tofu should be stored in the refrigerator. This is especially true if the tofu that you have purchased it from the refrigerated section of the grocery.
On the other hand, it is important to refer to the expiration date indicated in the packaging. Tofu may last longer than the expiration date if it is stored in a freezer. As a rule of thumb, the tofu can last for 2 to 3 months after the manufacturing date indicated in the packaging.
How to Extend the Shelf Life of Tofu
Tofu – Fresh Water
Opening a pack of tofu should be your cue to consume the tofu immediately. However, if you can’t finish the entire packet, you can choose to store tofu in fresh water. In order to make sure that the tofu would not turn stale, you should transfer the tofu to an airtight container.
Tofu should be stored with fresh water. This is why it is important to keep on replacing the water daily to keep the tofu fresh. This will keep the tofu from becoming spoiled or stale. When the water is stagnant, the tofu is more prone to molds since molds grow in humid and moist spaces. Replacing the water daily will keep the molds from growing. It is also best to use distilled water to ensure that the water that you are using is fresh, clean, and free from bacteria.
Tofu can also be frozen to ensure that it lasts longer, provided that the tofu is stored in an airtight container and thawed before cooking. Freezing your tofu actually allows it to absorb marinades better as the tofu becomes rather spongy. Due to the freezing process, the spongy texture of the tofu will also make it chewier and firmer.
Tofu, like most food, should be handled hygienically. It is important to use clean utensils to keep molds from forming in your tofu. It is also important to make sure that the container is airtight since we want to prevent airborne bacteria from being in contact with the tofu. On top of that, tofu should be kept in a refrigerator if it is purchased in the chilled section of the grocery.
Tofu – Freezing Process
As we have stated earlier, freezing tofu can actually lead to more benefits. While other types of food can lose their natural taste, tofu doesn’t taste like anything. This means that the tofu will not lose its taste. On top of that, freezing the tofu will only increase its capacity to absorb the flavoring.
In order to make sure that the tofu is properly frozen, it is important to cut the tofu into cubes. Moreover, you can use a baking sheet to line up the tofu and place them in a freezer container. This will ensure that the tofu is properly stored to last longer.
Tofu – Fermentation Process
Fermentation is a process that is perhaps hundred-fold more tedious than just freezing up your tofu. However, fermenting your tofu will make it last sufficiently longer than most of the other storage process. On top of that, it significantly changes the dynamics and flavor of the tofu. The most usual ingredients for fermented tofu will include salt, rice wine, sesame oil, soybeans, or vinegar.
Fermented tofu is common in China and it is often used as a condiment for different cuisines. One popular street food in Taiwan is called Stinky Tofu, which is a form of fermented tofu. It carries a strong smell, hence the name. The process to make this tofu usually consists of brining the tofu for months. The recipe for the brine differs, but most recipes call for fermented milk, meat, and vegetables.
The most common form of fermented tofu is the white fermented tofu. Similar to the stinky tofu brine, this type of tofu also allows for a variety of ingredients. This type of tofu would usually require a combination of rice wine and salt. The less common type of fermented tofu is the red fermented bean curd, which also includes yeast rice and chili in the brine.
The proper storage of tofu is the key to making sure that you are able to maximize the use of your tofu. After all, we want to make sure that we are able to consume tofu at its best state.
How to Tell If Tofu is Bad
It is easy to tell tofu has gone bad. When tofu is spoiled, it is evident in the smell. Spoiled tofu will smell sour and it is a clear indicator that the tofu has gone bad. Tofu usually doesn’t smell like anything, which is why a sour smell is a clear indicator of rotten tofu.
Another important indicator of the freshness of the tofu is by how it looks. When tofu is curdled, there is a high chance that the tofu is already spoiled. You may also check for any signs of mold on the tofu. If there is mold on the tofu, there is a 99.99% that the tofu you have is spoiled. The perfect indicator for a tofu’s freshness is our senses.
Consequences of Eating Bad Tofu
Food should always be handled hygienically. This is important in order to prevent spoilage. Consuming spoiled food can lead to some repercussions. The first possible consequence of eating spoiled tofu is food poisoning.
Food poisoning can lead to vomiting and uncontrollable bowel movement. It may also cause weakness and fever in some people. This can also lead to dehydration for the patient. Tofu should be handled properly in order to prevent this from happening.
We hope that this article keeps you informed on the shelf life of tofu and how to prolong the shelf life of tofu.