There has undoubtedly been an increase in the number of people preferring a vegan diet. The demand for the consumption of tofu has been increasing at a rapid pace owing to health reasons and environmental factors. Many of us have also tried cooking tofu for the first time.
Tofu is often termed as a ‘long life food’ due to its healthiness. So how long can cooked tofu last and what can you do to make it last longer? Let’s find out!
Cooked Tofu Placed At Room Temperature
Once Tofu is cooked, it can last for a maximum of two hours at room temperature. The tofu container should not be left unopened at any point in time. So, do not forget to cover your dish with a lid.
Cooked, uncooked, or fresh tofu cannot be left out at room temperature for more than two hours. It is scientifically observed that after a period of two hours, the dish is highly likely to be rampant with bacterial contamination. This will ultimately result in food poisoning or food indigestion.
Once you have finished preparing your tofu item, allow the dish to cool at room temperature. Once it cools, transfer the cooked meal into an air-tight container. If you have a refrigerator around, store the cooked tofu in it for a couple of hours and then store it in a container in your picnic basket or cooler.
Several insulated lunch/carrier bags are available in the market for keeping food cool. You need to be sure of your lunch timings on the day of your picnic. Unlock the tofu bowl only once you are ready for your lunch. If your food is not immediately consumed (after opening) and left for a later period, there will be a high possibility of contamination.
Cooked Tofu In Fridge
Cooked tofu remains fresh for a couple of days if you drain the water from the dish before refrigerating it. This way, cooked tofu can last for around six days. If you are unable to consume the dish within two hours of preparation, make sure you place it in the refrigerator, to keep it free from bacteria.
If your tofu dish consists of sauces or added vegetables, separate the extra ingredients from the tofu, to maintain the crispness of the cooked tofu for later consumption. Be mindful of closing the container with a lid before you refrigerate.
Keep in mind that once you reheat the dish, the cooked tofu will neither taste nor look the same as before. However, if you experience a sour taste, unfortunately, the tofu has spoiled.
Stir fry recipes of tofu are always the best options, as they last longer.
Cooked Tofu In Freezer
There are a couple of tofu recipes that can be preserved in a freezer such as soup. Texture as well as the appearance of the cooked tofu can speak a lot about its condition. Hence, it is always advised to examine the existing condition of the cooked tofu dish before or after thawing it.
If you see that tofu has changed its color to yellow and has mold present in some areas, it has to be discarded. If you notice that the tofu has curdled, you should definitely get rid of the dish. If consumed, you would be susceptible to food poisoning.
Before you keep the entire pot of cooked tofu in your freezer, it is always recommended to freeze a small batch to check the tofu’s quality. Such a batch test is conducted to test the taste and consistency of the tofu dish prior to freezing the entire batch.
Always follow appropriate methods of defrosting cooked tofu from your freezer. This in turn will help to reduce the risk of contamination. You also have the option to freeze the unused or uncooked tofu.
However, the only drawback of freezing this tofu is that it becomes spongy in texture. It further changes its color to caramel from white. Do not miss on draining out the excess water.
You can also freeze the tofu in a plastic bag or container. If you wish to defrost this, it is advisable to thaw the tofu in the refrigerator for a while or microwave the same on a defrost setting.
Tips To Preserve The Cooked Tofu
Adopting the perfect way of storing and preserving tofu is necessary to make it last longer for further consumption. Following are some of the pointers that you can be mindful of –
- You ought to ensure that the container is ultra-clean, dry, and spotless before you move the cooked tofu into it.
2. Cooked tofu will always last longer than raw tofu. Hence, it is recommended that you cook your tofu dish until it turns slightly brown in color, then accordingly drain the liquid.
3. After the dish is prepared, allow the cooked tofu to cool down a little before moving it into an air-tight container. You need to refrigerate it at the earliest.
4. It is advised to cook and consume the leftover tofu within a time period of two to three days. However, replace the water in the container daily to preserve the freshness of the cooked tofu.
5. Using filtered water while cooking will always increase the tofu’s shelf life.
6. Most importantly, over the years, you will be the apt person to judge various alternatives for storing and preserving cooked tofu. You will also gain a thorough understanding of making the tofu last longer for your family’s next meal.
Tofu contains several essential vitamins with minerals, namely manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and so on. For years, tofu has always been the main ingredient for several vegetarian dishes.
Always remember that a cooked tofu dish will only last as long as the fastest expiring ingredient in your recipe. Recipes such as tofu soups or pasta can be placed in the fridge. Fried tofu will always be one of the best recipes that will help you to preserve cooked tofu dishes for a long time. Happy eating!