Pressing tofu is essential to get the best flavors and textures. However, it’s also time-consuming and should be done well before cooking, so it isn’t easy to do at the last minute.
For people who want to plan meals ahead, it seems faster and easier to press tofu all at once and then store it until needed.
But can you store pressed tofu? And how long will pressed tofu last? Pressed tofu can be stored in fridge (for 4-5 days) or freezer (for 4-6 months).
Read on as I answer all of your questions about how to store pressed tofu.
Table of Contents
Can You Save Pressed Tofu?
Yes, you can store pressed tofu.
Pressed tofu should always be refrigerated or frozen and not kept at room temperature for longer than 1 hour.
Can You Store Pressed Tofu Overnight or the Day Before?
If you have pressed tofu the day before, you can store tofu overnight in the refrigerator and use it the following day.
How Do You Keep Tofu Once Pressed?
Tofu spoils quickly in the presence of oxygen, so it is typically sold sealed in a water bath.
The liquid prevents oxygen from penetrating the tofu, and the seal on the package keeps out oxygen from the environment.
Once your tofu has been pressed, the absence of liquid makes it more vulnerable to oxygen, so it’s essential to store it in an airtight container and use it while it is still good.
Pressed tofu can be kept in the refrigerator or the freezer.
How To Store Pressed Tofu in the Fridge
Depending on your needs, there are two ways to store pressed tofu in the fridge.
Here are both ways to keep tofu in the fridge:
In a Block
If you have pressed tofu and plan to use it within the next day or two, follow these steps:
- Press and keep tofu in its block shape
- Wrap it in cling film or place it in a plastic bag and squeeze out excess air.
- Place the wrapped tofu in the refrigerator
- Pressed tofu in an airtight wrap will last in the fridge for 3-5 days.
In a Marinade
If you plan on marinating your tofu before cooking, it’s easy to store pressed tofu in the refrigerator in a marinade.
The marinade blocks oxygen just like water does in the original packaging and gives the tofu ample time to absorb the flavors of your marinade.
Note: if you are using soft tofu and have an acidic marinade high in citrus juices or vinegar, the acids in the marinade may begin to break down the texture of your tofu after 12-24 hours.
Storing pressed tofu in a marinade is best done with firm tofu rather than soft or silky tofu.
To store pressed tofu in a marinade, follow these steps:
- Press tofu
- Slice tofu into cubes or slabs
- Place tofu slices in a container
- Add the marinade to the container, so the tofu is completely submerged in the marinade
- Put an airtight lid on the container, and store it in the refrigerator
You can keep firm pressed tofu in a marinade for two days or soft pressed tofu in a marinade for a day.
How To Store Pressed Tofu in the Freezer
Freezing pressed tofu is an excellent way to keep it fresh for longer, and freezing improves the texture and flavor of tofu.
To freeze pressed tofu, follow these steps:
- Press the tofu
- Slice it into cubes or slabs. Sliced tofu will freeze and thaw more quickly and allow you to defrost and use only as much tofu as you need.
- Place tofu cubes on a sheet pan in a single layer
- Place the sheet pan with pressed tofu in the coldest part of the freezer
- After an hour or two, when the tofu cubes are frozen solid, take them off the sheet pan and place them in an airtight container.
- Write the date on the container
Pressed tofu will last 4-6 months in the freezer.
How To Batch Press Tofu
Now that you know that it is possible to press tofu ahead of time and store it safely in the refrigerator or freezer, you may be wondering how you can press a large amount of tofu at the same time.
Many tofu presses are only designed to press a single block of tofu at a time, but this method allows you to press several blocks of firm or extra firm tofu at once.
To press a large quantity of tofu at the same time:
- Place a wire cooling rack in a sheet pan. There should be space between the wire rack and the bottom of the sheet pan to allow water to drain and air to circulate.
- Remove several blocks of tofu from their packages and drain excess water into the sink.
- Place the blocks of tofu on the wire rack over the sheet pan.
- Fold a clean tea towel in half and place it on the tofu blocks.
- Place a second sheet pan on the tea towel over the tofu.
- Weigh down the top sheet pan with heavy objects. For example, you may use cans of food, books, or other household heavy items. Place objects, so the weight is pressing down evenly.
- Allow the tofu to press for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the top sheet pan and replace the tea towel with a fresh, clean, dry tea towel folded in half to absorb additional moisture.
- Replace the top sheet pan and allow the tofu to press for another 30 minutes.
Following these tips will allow you to press tofu ahead of time, store pressed tofu so that it is fresh and delicious, and cut down on meal preparation time.
Store pressed tofu in the refrigerator or freezer, and enjoy it any time.