Does tofu go bad? Is it still safe to eat? Tofu is a soybean curd that has become very popular in recent years. It is usually sold in blocks or sheets and comes in various flavors such as plain, spicy, sweet, etc.
Tofu is also known as bean curd because it is made from fermented soybeans. However, one question you might be wondering is if it goes bad. Are you storing it correctly, and when is it time to get rid of that old tofu and buy a new block?
We answer these questions in this article and tell you everything you need to know about tofu that might be a little past its prime.
What Is Tofu?
Tofu is a food product made by coagulating soy milk. The process involves heating the soy milk until it becomes thick enough to solidify into a firm mass called tofu.
This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours depending on how much heat is applied. Once the tofu is formed, it is cut into cubes or slices for cooking purposes.
There are two types of tofu: fresh and dried. Fresh tofu is generally used in stir-fries and other dishes where it will absorb flavor easily. Dried tofu is often used in soups and stews since it does not have the same moisture content as fresh tofu.
Does Tofu Go Bad?
Unfortunately, yes, tofu can go bad, and it does not last very long once you have opened it. However, if you haven’t opened the tofu just yet, it can last for up to 2 months past its sell-by date, but this can only happen if you remember to store it properly.
You should always eat tofu within 3-5 days after opening, and throughout this time, it needs to be kept in the refrigerator.
You can find two types of tofu in the store. You can either buy shelf-stable or refrigerated tofu. Shelf-stable has a much longer shelf life as the name suggests, and you don’t have to worry about it going bad for 2-3 months after the sell-by date has passed.
You don’t normally need to keep this in the refrigerator, as it is made with preservatives that’ll preserve it at room temperature for a long while.
Refrigerated tofu would last for a similar amount of time, but you would need to store it in the fridge after you’ve taken it home.
How long cooked tofu lasts will depend on the ingredients. Each ingredient will go bad at different rates. It’s recommended you keep leftovers in the fridge, and the tofu will normally last as long as the ingredient that goes bad in the shortest amount of time. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to eat dishes made with tofu in 3-4 days when it is kept in the fridge.
How Do You Store Tofu?
You can store unopened tofu either in the pantry or the refrigerator, this will depend on the type of tofu. When keeping the tofu packs that haven’t been opened in the fridge, make sure they remain sealed. For opened tofu, you should store it with another method.
If you have an opened packet of tofu with some leftovers to use on another dish, you need to refrigerate it to ensure it stays fresh.
Make sure you keep the tofu in clean water and store it in an airtight container. Eat this tofu in 3-5 days, and you need to remember to change the water every new day, so the tofu is kept as fresh as possible.
Can You Freeze Tofu?
Yes, you can freeze tofu. Just like any other frozen food, there are certain things you need to know before freezing tofu.
You need to dry the tofu first, and if you neglect this step, you’ll end up with ice cube-like tofu. To remove the moisture, pop the tofu on paper towels and put something heavy on top to press it. Once your tofu is dry, wrap it in a freezer wrap or place it in a freezer bag before placing it in the freezer.
Never freeze tofu when it is unpacked, as this could burst and make a mess in your fridge. Freezing makes the texture of tofu firmer, and this is actually why some people prefer frozen tofu over fresh. Consume the tofu in 3-4 months and never refreeze it once thawed.
How To Tell If The Tofu Is Bad?
There are many ways to tell if the tofu is bad. The most obvious way is by looking at it. If the tofu looks moldy or slimy, then it’s probably gone bad.
Another way to tell is by smelling it. If it smells sour or musty, then it’s not good anymore. If it also tastes off, then it’s probably not good anymore.
Moreover, if the pack is bloated, this can be a sign it is bad too. When bacteria grow in food, they release gases that get trapped inside. This means if your tofu pack is bloated, it’s probably time to get rid of it.
Another thing to be careful of is the watercolor. If it has turned cloudy, you should avoid eating the tofu inside. Tofu is often white or sometimes milky white. This means if your tofu appears to be yellow, it could be time to throw it out.
Health Benefits Of Tofu
Before the tofu goes bad, however, there are plenty of health benefits associated with eating tofu. These include:
The protein content of tofu is high. There are about 6 grams of protein per cup. This is more than double the amount found in meat.
It also contains fiber. A half-cup of tofu has about 8 grams of fiber. This is almost twice the amount found in whole milk.
It contains no cholesterol. This is because tofu is made from soybeans, which don’t contain cholesterol. It also is low in fat. One cup of tofu only has around 1 gram of fat. This is less than one-third of what is found in regular cheese.
It is rich in calcium. Each cup of tofu contains about 100 mg of calcium. This is nearly three times the amount found in milk. It is full of iron. A half-cup contains 4 mg of iron. This is more than the daily recommended intake for women.
It is also low in sodium. One cup of tofu contains just 40 mg of sodium. This is much lower than the amount found in regular cheese. It is even lower than the amount found naturally in chicken.
Finally, it is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Tofu contains all essential amino acids including lysine, methionine, cysteine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, histidine, arginine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, alanine, aspartic acid, and serine.
We hope after reading this article you have learned all you need to know about how long tofu lasts and whether your tofu has gone bad or not.
Keep an eye out for signs of tofu going bad and never eat tofu that smells bad, looks a different color, or if the pack is bloated.
However, if your tofu is good to go, carry on enjoying the delicious healthy food. We promise it can benefit your health in many different ways!