If you bought tofu at your local store or Walmart and are planning to keep some of it to use in the future, you must be wondering—does tofu go bad? Or maybe you’re looking for the signs of tofu going bad.
Tofu is an essential food rich in protein with all the nine essential amino acids. Besides, this bean curd contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese, necessary for your health.
If you landed on this post to seek an answer to this question—does tofu go bad? Or, if you have doubts about tofu storage, its shelf life, and many more, this post is for you.
So let’s get started.
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Does Tofu Go Bad?
Yes, tofu will go bad at some point, but like most other foods, this bean curd doesn’t have an infinite shelf life. How long tofu will stay depends on the storage method, the time you’ve stored it since its purchase (opened and unopened), and more.
It’s best to throw away the tofu once you realize that it’s gone bad. This is because spoiled tofu can make you ill through food poisoning.
Food poisoning symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea. So if you’re experiencing any of these after consuming tofu you suspected had gone bad, see your doctor.
Tofu is a nutritious food with only 80 calories for every three ounces—that’s like 85 grams. And because this food is made from milk, it should have an expiration date just like any other dairy food.
In a nutshell, tofu also goes bad. Once it’s opened, it’s best to consume it as fast as you can because this bean curd is vulnerable to bacterial growth. However, you can prolong the shelf life of tofu by properly storing it—in the fridge or the freezer.
How Long Does Tofu Last?
Tofu should last for about two months after the production date, as long as you properly store it. Check the package to see the production date and in case you won’t be able to find it, check the ‘best by date.’
Whether you find the expiration date, best by date, or production date, that will give you an idea of how long your tofu should last without going bad. If you store it in the fridge, you’ll have your tofu safe for up to a week or longer.
Once you’ve opened your tofu, it’s best to consume it within three to five days before it goes bad. If you’re sure you won’t use it within the specified period, it’s best to store it—either in the fridge or freezer for longer shelf life.
While refrigerating and freezing are the two best methods of storing your tofu, freezing will keep your tofu safe for a longer time. Therefore, if you want to keep your tofu for months, freezing is the best option.
In a nutshell, how long your tofu will last depends on the storage method you use. If you refrigerate it, tofu will stay for three to five days longer. However, if you choose to freeze, you should be assured your tofu will last a few more months.
How Do I Store Tofu For Longer?
You now know that tofu will eventually go bad, plus, you know how long it will last. Please don’t let your guard down just yet. Instead, keep focusing as we go through the various methods to store tofu.
Only unopened tofu is good for the pantry, but you still need to be careful in choosing the right spot for it. That said, you need to select a darker corner without too much sunlight to keep your tofu. It’s best to remind you that you need to transfer your tofu to the fridge once you open it.
It’s also essential to let you know that opened tofu can only last about an hour at room temperature—this could be the time when you’re preparing a meal or when you’re having a meal. Once this time has elapsed, your tofu will start to deteriorate in quality.
First and foremost, it’s essential to note that there are different types of tofu—from spongy tofu, silky to firm tofu. You can keep in the fridge up to the best by date on the package. Once you have opened the tofu package, it will go bad after a few days.
However, there are some tricks you can use to store your tofu even longer. Below are the tips and tricks you can use to prolong the shelf life of your tofu while storing it in the fridge:
- Boil tofu—Once you have opened your tofu, wash it, drain it properly, and put it into a storage container. Pour boiling water over tofu and put it in the fridge. This trick will prevent fermentation, prolonging its life by up to an additional five days.
- Submerge in water—As long as you’ve chosen to store your tofu, ensure that it’s submerged in water. Initially, it’s best to keep your tofu in a container with boiled water and then change the liquid regularly. In other words, you want to ensure that the liquid you store your tofu should be fresh. Experts have recommended adding a little salt to extend its shelf life.
- Glass container—Ensure that you check your tofu daily and this is only possible with a glass container. A glass container will enable you to watch the water inside and change it regularly.
- Sealing—You need to seal your tofu container each time you’re taking it back into the fridge. In case you don’t have a vacuum sealing lid, feel free to use airtight dishes to avoid letting bacteria into your stored tofu.
It’s possible to freeze the entire tofu you purchase from your local store. However, you must not use the original packaging when storing it.
The higher water content in tofu is most likely to expand when freezing, meaning that the material can shatter easily, depending on the material used to make the container.
The best way to avoid your tofu from shattering the storage container is to drain all the water in tofu, then place it on a cake sheet and cover it with a paper towel if you have. Once you’re sure that all the water content has drained, you can let your tofu back into the freezer.
How Do I Tell If Tofu Has Gone Bad?
Of course, tofu will go bad after some time, but your tofu should remain safe for consumption as long as you store it properly. That said, let’s look at some of the signs of tofu going bad:
- Mold—Mold is an obvious sign that your tofu had gone bad. To confirm mold in tofu, check to see any dark, brown, or green spots on your tofu.
- Taste—Tofu has a neutral flavor, so one way to confirm that tofu has gone bad is the difference in texture. Therefore, if your tofu has a strange and bitter taste, your tofu has gone bad and you should throw it away.
- Color—Check your tofu and see if the color has changed. You’ll probably want to check if the color has turned yellowish or darker.
- Texture—You will also need to touch and feel if the texture is rough or has become slime. If that’s the case, your tofu had spoiled and you need to get rid of it.
- Smell—The smell is another sign that your tofu has gone bad. Smell and see if the fresh tofu smell is still present—if there is an acidic odor, get rid of it because it has gone bad.
- Water—You remember we talked about changing the water you use to store your tofu? Now, if the water isn’t clear anymore, or let’s say it turns mushy it cloudy, then that’s an indication that your tofu has gone bad.
- Package—The nature of the tofu package could also be a sign that your tofu has gone bad. Therefore, check the package and if it’s bloated, your tofu has spoiled.
Can I Eat Expired Tofu?
No, you shouldn’t eat expired tofu as this could lead to food poisoning. Food poisoning usually takes effect as fast as 30 minutes. Some signs to look out for include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea.
Therefore, check to see if you can spot some of the signs I discussed earlier to determine whether the tofu has gone bad. If it has gone bad, please get rid of it because consuming it might be dangerous.
1. How Do You Store Tofu After Opening?
The best way to store your tofu by placing it in a container with clean water, then into the fridge. You can cook and eat your tofu within 2-3 days, but regularly change the water in the container.
2. Is Tofu Supposed to Be Slimy?
No, tofu shouldn’t be slim unless it’s gone bad. Usually, spoiled tofu is slimy on its outside. If your tofu is slimy, it’s time to throw it away because consuming it might result in food poisoning.
3. How Long Does Tofu Last In the Freezer?
Tofu can last in the freezer for three months. To store your tofu in the freezer, cut into bits and freeze until solid. Once that is done, transfer it to a freezer bag and let it back into the freezer. Defrost anytime you want to use it in the fridge.
4. What Is the Liquid in Tofu?
The liquid in tofu is the soaked, strained and boiled soybeans. Sometimes magnesium or calcium is added to set liquid.
5. Does Tofu Reheat Well?
Yes, you can reheat tofu without any problems. To reheat your tofu, put it in the oven, pan, or microwave. However, ensure that you don’t overcook your tofu if you use the oven or microwave.
Yes, tofu can go bad, but this depends on the storage method you choose. Freezing your tofu will prolong its shelf for up to three months, while refrigeration can extend its shelf life for three to five days.
Over to you now—what storage methods do you use to store your tofu? And what is the experience you’ve had? Please share in the comments so that others readers can learn from it.