Preserving Tofu In the Refrigerator
Tofu typically comes packaged in a rectangular container filled with water. The water is what preserves the tofu. If you don’t cook the whole package at once, you can always store the leftovers. A package of tofu can stay fresh in the refrigerator for over a month.
When you have leftover tofu (that you plan to use soon), you can preserve it by placing the leftovers in a tupperware and covering the top with water. To continually keep it fresh, change the water simply by pouring it out and covering the tofu with new water. Change the water every four to seven days.
Preserving Tofu In the Freezer
Freezing tofu will change the texture of your final product, usually for the better, if you prepare properly. It is best to thoroughly thaw out your tofu in the refrigerator; trying to speed thaw the tofu can cause it to become mushy.
To ease the process of thawing out your tofu, you can slice it before freezing. If you do need to speed thaw it, microwave the tofu in 15 second intervals to avoid overheating and making it mushy.
To make good tofu, you have to 1) decide how you’re going to cut it, 2) eliminate the excess water, and 3) season/marinate it well.
My favorite ways to enjoy tofu are sliced and cubed. I do not cut my tofu more than ½ inch thick. This width gives you the right amount of surface area for great texture AND flavor.
The most efficient way to eliminate excess tofu water is with a tofu presser, but if you don’t have one, paper towels and a pot work fine! Once you’ve cut up your tofu, get 4-6 sheets of paper towels and place the cut tofu on the paper towel, evenly spaced out. If the paper towel is long enough to wrap the tofu again, definitely do that!
I like to press the tofu by placing a large pot on top, and *gently* placing glass plates inside the pot to add extra pressure. Make sure to be gentle about setting the plates in so you don’t squish your tofu and destroy the texture. Leave the pot and plates on top for at least five minutes. I recommend repeating this process one more time to dry the tofu out as much as possible; but if you want to preserve paper towels, one time is enough.
Once your tofu is pressed, then you season and marinate it; you also have the option of just doing either one. However you season your tofu, it’s always good to completely cover the two largest faces of the slice. If you have cubed tofu, cover all the sides! The plus side to using seasoning alone is a shorter prep time, but marinating your tofu deeper flavor to your entree.