How Long Does Tofu Last After Opening The Package?

As with many other ingredients, home cooks may find themselves with leftover tofu after finishing a meal. But while many people have years of experience and intuition about veggies or animal proteins, more might find themselves wondering how long their tofu lasts after opening the package. Fortunately, the answer is fairly straightforward.

In general, opened, uncooked tofu is good for up to five days when stored correctly. As for cooked tofu (including tofu integrated into dishes), you'll have four to five days to eat it when it's stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Of course, the key here is storing the tofu in the right way. The best way to do this is to submerge the tofu in clean water in an airtight container, which is then stored in the refrigerator. You should also change the water every day to keep it fresh.

However, it's also possible to keep leftover opened tofu usable for longer by freezing it. To do this, drain any excess moisture, and seal the tofu in a freezer-safe bag with as much air as possible removed. Use it within three to five months to ensure the best quality. When you're ready to use it, make sure to leave yourself plenty of time (up to two days) to defrost the tofu in the fridge. It's worth noting that freezing can also offer benefits for some dishes like improving the texture of the tofu, a chef's trick that's sometimes why tofu tastes better at a restaurant.

Critical nuances of tofu storage

While tofu works in a variety of dishes, these answers to questions about tofu storage aren't one-size-fits-all. As dedicated tofu fans know, the many types of tofu can vary widely from delicate silken varieties to meaty extra-firm ones. The former, which have a higher water content, typically need to be used more quickly than the lower-moisture firm styles. That higher moisture content is also why silken varieties don't hold up to the freezing process as well as firmer kinds of tofu.

No matter the method you use or the amount of time that's passed, it's vital to know the signs that your tofu is past its prime and worth tossing out. Many should be relatively obvious to observant cooks, like unpleasant odors, a slimy texture, or the appearance of visible mold. Spoiled tofu also tends to turn a darker color than it was when fresh. No matter how long it's been since opening the package, you should throw away tofu that's exhibiting any of these signs.

As with all leftovers, it's important to label the package so you know how long they have been in your fridge or freezer. Don't let that versatile, affordable block of meat-free protein go to waste. Take advantage of all of the amazing ways to cook tofu before it goes bad!