No one likes spoiled tofu, or any spoiled food for that matter. Whether due to spoiled food, or misconceptions about it, us Americans throw out billions of dollars’ worth of food every year.
This may be due to the fact that we don’t know how spoiled food works. Some of us will throw out our food the second it reaches the sell-by date, even if the food is still good. Others may take one look at the food and throw it away.
Before I got self-conscious, I couldn’t tell you how much food I threw away. After a while, I realized, “What’s the point buying all this food if it’s going to a landfill?” Then, I became more conscious.
Don’t waste food! Not only are you throwing away money, but you should be grateful you have all this food available.
If you’re a tofu fanatic, you may wonder how you can get the most out of your block. Does tofu go bad? How long can it last in the fridge? These questions and more I’ll answer.
Can Tofu Go Bad?
Any food goes bad after a while. Even the most processed foods have a sell-by date. Since tofu is made from a plant, and is usually fresh, it can go bad fast.
How Long Does Tofu Last?
Does tofu expire? When it comes to food storage, there’s no concrete answer as to how long an item will last. It will depend on many factors.
So it’s like meat in that it doesn’t have a great storage life.
Like meat, you can freeze it, and it will last up to five months in the freezer. It does alter the texture, so try it frozen to see if it’s to your liking. Some prefer the altered texture, while some don’t. Different textures can be used for different foods, too.
Put the tofu in a container that’s freezer safe, draining the water beforehand. Wrap it in plastic, put it in a container, and then put it in the freezer. It should be good to go for months.
How Long Does Cooked Tofu Last?
By cooking your food, you can extend tofu shelf life by quite a bit. For tofu, brown it, drain any liquids, and put it in a container. This will extend its shelf life by another three to five days. With cooked tofu, you can add it to a stir-fry or just heat it up and serve it at any time. It’s a good strategy to cook tofu if your fresh tofu is on the verge of expiring.
Recommended reading: How to Cook Tofu – The Definitive Guide for Beginners (and 4 Yummy Tofu Recipes)
How to Tell if Tofu is Bad?
While the three to five day rule is a good way to see if your tofu is bad or not, the best way is to inspect the tofu to see if looks good. You may wonder how to know if tofu is bad. If the tofu has gone from a white color to a tanner color, it may have gone bad. Smell it, too. You won’t smell fresh tofu, but you may get a sour smell if it’s spoiled, and this can obviously make it taste gross.
Tofu gone bad can look flimsy, and even if it doesn’t smell or look funny, you should do a little taste test to make sure it isn’t going bad. Does it taste normal? Great! Does it taste a little off? You may want to cook it fast then. With any spoiled food, you can get sick if you eat it.
Storing Fresh Tofu
After you open its original package and use it, you can extend the leftovers’ expiration date through proper storage. Put it in a sealed container, and cover it in water. Every day, change the water to maintain freshness. It should be changed at least once a day, and you can do it more often to extend its freshness. Filtered water can increase its lifespan as well.
When to Refrigerate
If you bought tofu at the store and it wasn’t in the refrigerated section, you can store it at room temperature and refrigerate only when it’s been opened. If it’s already refrigerated, keep it in the fridge.
When does tofu go bad? It really depends on how you store it. When you cook tofu, you’ll need to remember how long is tofu good for. Freeze the tofu or keep it properly refrigerated to extend its shelf life.
If you’re someone who prepares their food beforehand, you should probably learn to master food storage. I’ve been meal prepping for a while, and I’ve learned to make that fresh block of tofu last from Monday to Sunday.
It just requires some simple rules to follow. To summarize:
- Tofu lasts 3-5 days after opened, after the sell-by date if unopened, and can extend by 3-5 days when cooked.
- You can freeze tofu and make it last for months.
- Always use a tight container. If you’re refrigerating, change the water often. Drain the water if you’re freezing it.
- If you think the tofu has gone bad, inspect it yourself to see if that’s the case. Don’t throw it out if it’s still good.
I hope this answered the question of “How long does tofu last?” Until next time!