Can Tofu Go Bad?

When it’s around the ‘best by’ date of a package of tofu, many people start to wonder ‘can tofu go bad’. As you have probably guessed, tofu can go bad and it doesn’t take that long for that to happen. If you would like to learn about storing tofu, how to freeze it so it will be good for longer and other important tofu-related facts, read along!

Storing tofu

Until the package is opened, you can leave it as-is sitting in the fridge. Once the package is opened and you’re left with some tofu leftovers, the best thing you can actually do is to transfer the tofu into an airtight container (or at very least a container with a cover) and submerge it in fresh water. This water should be changed on a daily basis. This way it will stay pretty fresh for a couple of days.

Tofu and rice
(credit: SodanieChea)

As mentioned earlier, you can freeze tofu, so it will be fine for a much longer period of time. The whole process is pretty easy. You start off by draining the tofu. One tip for draining – put a paper towel on top and under the tofu. Change the towels once they’re wet. On top of the tofu (on the paper towel) put a cutting board (or any other object that will do the job) to press the tofu a little, so it will lose more water. Once tofu is drained, wrap it with a freezer wrap or put into a freezer bag and seal it tightly. Remember to not leave any head space in the bag. Not it’s ready to be put into the freezer where it can be stored for a much longer period of time. Another thing to remember is that the tofu’s texture will become firmer after thawing. Consider that when you’re freezing tofu to use it when making a certain dish.

Shelf life of tofu

As long as the tofu is stored properly and unopened, it should be fine for at least two months after the production date. If you can’t find the production date, you’d certainly be able to find a ‘best by’ or ‘use by’ date. This date is a pretty good indicator of how long tofu will stay safe to eat. Of course if you’ll store it in the fridge, it will be safe to eat for a week or even longer than the date says. This is quite obvious – products don’t go bad a day after the ‘best by’ date. Once the package is opened, it’s suggested to consume the tofu within 3 to 5 days. If you won’t use the whole package right away, store as it was described earlier.

If you need to keep the tofu for much longer, just freeze it (earlier in the article you can find how to do that). When frozen, it can be stored in the freezer for a couple of months without significant loss of taste. If you know that you won’t use the whole package of tofu at once, it’s best to freeze a part of it right away. Please remember that freezing tofu for longer than a few months might end up in a noticeable change of taste (with which you might not be satisfied).

How to tell if tofu is bad

First thing to do is to take a closer look at the tofu. Are there any signs of mold? Maybe tofu looks flimsy? If it looks fine, smell it. A spoiled tofu often has a strong sour smell, that you can notice right away. If it looks and smells normally, taste a little. If it tastes off, discard it. If not, you’re good to go.

As you should know by now, tofu can go bad and this process doesn’t take long after opening the package. If you’d like to be able to store tofu for longer, consider freezing it.