The most common misconception about tofu is that it’s an unhealthy food.
It’s true that it doesn’t have as many nutrients as other plant-based foods like leafy greens and beans, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely devoid of nutrition.
In fact, there are plenty of health benefits associated with eating tofu.
In this article we will talk about how to tell if tofu is bad and what to do if it isn’t good.
How can you tell if tofu is bad?
If you’re wondering whether or not your tofu is bad, here are some of the signs that suggest that it might not be the best choice for you.
It has a strong odor
It smells funny when you open it up
Its texture is hard or rubbery
It has a strange taste
You see mold on top
1. The smell
One of the first things you should notice if your tofu is bad is its strong odour.
If it’s got a strong aroma, chances are that it’s old.
Tofu goes stale very quickly because it absorbs all the moisture in the air, so it needs to be kept in a sealed container.
Because of this, it’s important to buy new tofu every few days.
You don’t want to store it too long, though, because it could become mouldy or develop off flavours over time.
2. The texture
Another sign that your tofu may not be good is if it’s very soft or sticky.
Soft tofu usually means it’s been sitting around for a while, which leads us into our next point…
3. The age of the tofu
If you find out that your tofu is old, it’s probably going to be bad.
Tofu ages fast, so if it looks older than a week, it’s definitely not edible anymore.
When you buy tofu, look at the label and make sure it says “fresh” or “newly made.”
If the tofu has been sitting around for more than a month, you should either throw it away or give it a quick bath before cooking it.
Mold is another reason why you shouldn’t eat tofu.
It’s easy to spot mold on the surface of the tofu, but it can also grow inside the package.
This is especially bad if it’s been stored in the same place for a long period of time.
To avoid mold, store your tofu in the refrigerator immediately after purchasing it.
Then, just keep it in the fridge until you use it.
Don’t even think about opening it up until then.
5. Poor quality packaging
Poor packaging is another sign that your tofu is not fresh.
Look closely at the packaging and check the expiration date.
If it’s expired, toss it out and get a new one.
Also, look for any leaks or tears in the packaging.
These are signs that the tofu was exposed to air during storage and that it’s likely going to be bad.
6. Strange tastes
Strange tastes are a big red flag that your tofu is bad.
There are many reasons why this might happen, including contamination from chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
Some people also say that certain brands of tofu have weird textures and tastes, but there is no way to know without trying it yourself.
7. Smells weird
If your tofu smells bad, it’s probably not good.
But what exactly does bad smell mean?
Well, different types of tofu have different smells, so they can vary quite a bit.
For example, firm tofu tends to smell sweet and earthy, whereas silken tofu can smell musty and funky.
If you don’t like the smell of your tofu, you can try washing it before using it, but if it still smells bad, you should probably put it back in the fridge and use it later.
8. It didn’t come in a box
Some people think that tofu comes in boxes, but the truth is that it doesn’t.
Most stores sell their products in bags, which makes them much easier to carry home.
So, if you bought your tofu from a grocery store, it’s likely that it came in a bag instead of a box.
What are some signs that tofu has gone bad?
There are a few different ways you can tell if your tofu is old or bad.
One way is by looking at the packaging.
If the package is torn or damaged in any way, then that means it has been sitting out for too long.
The texture should also change after you open it.
If it is mushy or gross, then it probably went bad.
There shouldn’t be any mold growing on it either.
This is especially an issue when storing tofu in the fridge, because refrigeration makes the moisture inside of the block of tofu expand.
That expansion causes the tofu to break down and become soft and mushy.
It’s okay to eat the outer layer of the tofu, but once you get to the center, it gets very difficult to cut into it without getting slimy stuff all over your knife.
So, don’t keep it in the fridge too long.
If you find that your tofu has gone bad, you should toss it out immediately.
You could try freezing it first, but it won’t make much of a difference.
The only real way to save it is to rehydrate it.
To do so, soak the tofu in warm water until it reaches its original consistency.
Then you can use it.
As mentioned above, the texture of tofu changes depending on where you store it.
When you buy it from the grocery store, it usually comes in a plastic container.
The plastic container traps in extra moisture, which is why you see the tofu becoming soft and sticky.
If you want to prevent this from happening, put the tofu in a paper bag before putting it in the fridge.
How long does tofu last before it goes bad?
Tofu is one of those foods that people often find themselves without when they run out of other options.
This makes it great to use as a last resort, but also means that you should keep an eye on it so that you know when to make your next trip to the grocery store.
While all types of tofu (cubed, silken, or firm) will stay fresh for up to two weeks after you purchase them, all tofu loses its texture over time.
The longer you leave tofu exposed to air, the more likely it is to lose its moisture—and therefore its elasticity.
It’s important to note that soy milk is different from tofu.
Soy milk lasts for much longer than tofu because it has been pasteurized, which kills off any bacteria that may otherwise cause spoilage.
So, if you’re looking to buy a new jar of soy milk, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s going to be fresh for another week.
What is the shelf life of tofu?
Tofu has a long shelf life because it doesn’t spoil easily.
However, you should keep in mind that its quality will deteriorate over time if you don’t store it properly.
The following are some tips on how to maintain the quality of your tofu:
Store the tofu in a dry place at room temperature.
If you store it in the fridge, it will lose moisture and become moldy.
Keep the packaging tightly sealed so that it won’t absorb any odors or smells from other ingredients.
Refrigerate your tofu after opening it (unless you’re using it right away).
Don’t use the same container to store different types of tofu—use separate containers for each type of tofu.
Use a clean utensil to open the package every time you buy new batches of tofu.
Can tofu be frozen?
Tofu is a great ingredient to use when you want to make something more appealing or convenient.
However, because it has a high water content, it tends to lose its texture when frozen.
So, if you freeze tofu, it will become mushier than before.
You can still enjoy frozen tofu, but it’s best to eat it right away after thawing it out.
If you plan on freezing it, you should add it to freezer bags instead of using Tupperware or plastic containers, because they tend to leak more liquid during the process.
If you don’t mind eating tofu that’s been frozen, you could even freeze it in cubes and then freeze-dry it.
This way, you won’t have to worry about it losing its texture while being frozen.
How should tofu be stored?
Tofu is made from soybeans.
As such, it has a high protein content.
This means that you should store it in airtight containers away from moisture and heat.
You should also avoid storing it in plastic bags or cardboard boxes because these materials can absorb odors and flavors.
It is important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t cook with tofu.
If you don’t want to eat it raw, you should only store it in its original packaging until you are ready to use it.
The longer you leave it out, the more likely it is to go bad.
If you are going to eat it right away, you can take it out of the package and cut it into small cubes before placing it in the fridge.
Alternatively, you can place it in a bowl, cover it with water, and let it soak overnight.
Once it is soaked, drain the excess water and then place it in the fridge.
If you are going to save it for later, you should put it on a plate and wrap it up with parchment paper.
Then, you should store it in the refrigerator.
For maximum freshness, you should try to eat it within two weeks.
If you plan to freeze tofu, you should thaw it first.
To do this, simply place it in a colander placed over a bowl and allow it to drip dry.
Then, place the dried tofu in a sealed container and transfer it to the freezer.
You can also freeze it with different sauces so that you can enjoy it when it’s time to eat.
Just make sure to label the container clearly so that you know which sauce goes with which frozen block of tofu.
To prepare tofu, you can either pan fry it or steam it.
Pan frying involves heating oil in a skillet over medium heat and then adding the tofu to the hot oil.
After it is cooked, add salt and pepper to taste.
You can also add spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
Alternatively, you can steam it by soaking it in water for about 10 minutes.
When it is done, drain the water and add salt and pepper to taste.
Steaming also helps prevent the tofu from becoming tough.
What happens if you eat bad tofu?
If you’re eating tofu regularly, then chances are you probably don’t know the quality of the product you’re buying.
This is why it’s important to take note of the following warning signs before consuming any kind of soybean.
Taste – If you’re getting a strong soy taste when you consume tofu, then it may be too old. The longer the tofu sits in storage, the more likely it is to get spoiled. So, make sure to buy tofu within one month of its expiration date.
Texture – You should also check whether the texture is smooth or grainy. Smooth tofu has been processed to remove any lumps, while grainy tofu hasn’t been processed at all. Both types are safe to eat, but the former is better because it tastes less rubbery.
Colour – Also, look out for any discoloration in the tofu. If the colour turns brown, then it means that the tofu has gone rancid. This is especially true if the tofu smells strongly like fish.
Smell – You should also pay attention to the smell of the tofu. If it smells like rotten eggs, it could indicate that the tofu is moldy. Moldy tofu is unsafe to eat so you should throw it away immediately.
Look – While you shouldn’t spend too much time staring at the packaging, you should still take notice of the appearance of the tofu. For example, if the tofu looks dry, then it’s definitely no good. On the other hand, if it looks fresh and moist, then it’s probably fine to eat. You can also use the “squeeze test” to determine whether or not the tofu is edible.
Is it safe to eat tofu that has been refrigerated for a while?
Refrigeration is the answer to any question you ask yourself about whether or not something is healthy.
Refrigerating food means that the temperature inside the container is lower than the outside air.
When that happens, the food inside is less prone to spoilage.
When you buy tofu, take note of its expiration date.
If it hasn’t expired yet, then it’s probably safe to eat.
However, if the package says “Use By Date,” then it may be past its prime.
This is because the shelf life of tofu varies depending on the brand and type of tofu.
Tofu made from soybeans lasts longer than tofu made from rice.
The latter will start to lose its texture after three weeks of storage, whereas the former will still be edible after six months.
As long as the tofu is in good condition, you should be fine.
Can tofu be reheated?
Tofu is one of the easiest foods to make at home.
You simply need to soak it in water until it becomes soft enough to eat.
The standard way of cooking tofu is by pan frying it or grilling it.
However, you should never put tofu in the microwave because it will become dry and hard.
If you want to reheat it, you can either use a saucepan or a pot of boiling water.
To reheat it quickly, just place it in a bowl and cover it with hot water.
After a few minutes, remove it from the hot water and drain any excess water before using it again.
If you don’t mind putting more time into it, you can also steam it instead.
Steaming involves placing the block of tofu in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water.
This method takes longer than using a bowl of hot water, but it does provide better results.
If you want to learn more about how to cook tofu, check out our guide.
What are some recipes for tofu?
Tofu comes in different forms such as soft, firm, extra firm, silken, and even sprouted (which is fermented).
Some people think that sprouting tofu changes its texture or makes it taste better, but that’s only because they haven’t tried it yet.
Sprouting tofu is actually very difficult and requires a lot of patience.
It takes around 24 hours for the soybeans to sprout and then another day to get them ready to eat.
Most stores don’t sell sprouted tofu so you’ll have to buy it online from companies that specialize in selling it.
If you want to try making your own tofu at home, here are some easy ways to make it:
Soak dried soybeans overnight in water until they start to expand.
Drain the water from the soybeans and rinse them thoroughly.
Soaked soybeans are called “niboshi” and they are used in miso soup and umeboshi plum pickles.
Wash the soybeans and cut them into smaller pieces.
Place the soybean pieces in a pot with enough water to cover them.
Bring the water to a boil and cook the soybeans for 30 minutes.
Remove the soybeans from the heat and let them cool down.
Press out all of the excess liquid from the soybeans.
The soybean paste should be able to hold together when squeezed.
Place the soybean paste on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Set aside in a warm area for 12 hours.
If you live somewhere cold, place the soybean paste inside a plastic bag.
Let it sit in the fridge and turn every few hours to ensure even fermentation.
You can also try making tofu from scratch at home by following the instructions below:
Add 1 cup of soy milk to a container with 6 cups of water.
Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the mixture and stir well to combine.
Place the mixture in a bowl and add 3 scoops of rice flour. Mix well.
Cover the bowl and leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, stir the mixture again.
After 20 minutes, remove the bowl and pour the mixture into a strainer over the sink.
Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the strainer and mix the tofu.
Pour the tofu back into the bowl and repeat steps 4 and 5 above.
Keep repeating the process until the tofu gets firm to the touch.
If you are looking for something simple, you can make a delicious salad dressing by mixing equal parts of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
You can also use it as a marinade for chicken or fish.
How To Cook Tofu In The Microwave
- 1 microwave
- 14 oz. Extra-firm tofu
- 1 Spices
- 1 Herbs or another seasoning, to taste
- 1 sea salt
- Then, place the thawed, diced, drained tofu in a microwave-safe glass dish or bowl. Cover the dish or bowl with a lid.
- Microwave on high for 2-7 minutes, or until tofu looks to be cooked through.
- Allow cooling slightly. Serve with rice, noodles, or vegetables as a side dish.