How Long Does Tofu Last?

All the Possible Tips For Storing this Soy Cheese

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Tofu Shelf Life

Tofu cheese that is widely used in Asia has become a trendy product in many countries and now you will hardly find a dish that doesn’t include it. It is often used in Serbian, American cuisine, and all through Balcans also.

Tofu is praised for its useful qualities and naturally, everyone would like to know how to preserve this cheese at home.

Below, you will find this and a lot of other interesting information regarding this exotic cheese.

We eat tofu raw and cooked in different ways, with or without the additional ingredients like dressing or bread. Of course, people start wondering how they can properly treat this product to extend its lifespan.

How long is tofu good past the expiration date? How long can you keep tofu at all?

Find the answers right here!

Related: Fresh Cheese. Useful Tips About Cheese

does tofu go bad
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What Is Tofu and Why It Is Useful?

Tofu is a sort of milkless cheese because it is made of condensed soy milk instead of ordinary one and goes through a similar process of production being pressed into the solid blocks.

What dishes do you like from tofu?
Fried tofu
I add tofu to salads
I cook tofu soups

Since it is made of soybeans which are mostly grown in the USA and are GMO-affected, some say that tofu can be dangerous to our health. The destructive effect of GMO-products on our health has not been approved but anyway, whether it is true or not, if you want to insure yourself from any possible harm, simply buy an organic original product made either in China or in Japan.

So why is this faux cheese so popular? Tofu is very rich in protein and it also contains all of the necessary amino acids that our body requires. A big amount of vitamins and minerals is also a huge plus of this product.

How long does tofu keep

Moreover, tofu cheese is a low-fat product that makes sit perfect for a dietary menu.

Generally speaking, tofu protects and strengthens our heart, it prevents the development of several kinds of cancer and reduces the risk of getting diabetes. In addition, eating tofu will make your skin better and your bones stronger.

How long does tofu keep its useful features? If you keep it correctly, tofu cheese can stay edible and be still useful for several days.

Related: Tips for How Can You Freeze Cream Cheese at Home

What is Tofu?What is Tofu?

Tofu Shelf Life and Storage Nuances

Now the time has come to take a closer look at the tofu storage specifics and some useful secrets that can help you to extend its durability and preserve all the usefulness.

There are many questions regarding how and where tofu must be stored properly. Let’s check out the most essential points of concern. 

How long is tofu good for?

The period of time during which your tofu will stay edible without losing its characteristics is at least three days and at most five days of storage. It refers to both opened and unopened tofu packs.

Can Tofu Go Bad? (Let's Open Some Expired Tofu)Can Tofu Go Bad? (Let’s Open Some Expired Tofu)

Does tofu need to be refrigerated?

In fact, there are two types of tofu being sold today. One that is sold being already refrigerates whilst the other is sold unrefrigerated. Respectively, they require different storage conditions and the duration of storage will be different for both.

How often do you eat tofu?
Almost every day
I don't eat tofu

The tofu that was bought refrigerated must be kept under the impact of the low temperature when you bring it home whilst tofu that you bought unrefrigerated can be stored in a pantry.

Opened tofu, no matter of what kind, must be always chilled.

Being aware of the basic storage nuances will allow keeping the product edible and avoiding any unpleasant aftermath of consuming spoiled food.

In addition, this knowledge will let everyone use their food more reasonably without discarding too much just because of the pointless usage or improper keeping.

What does the tofu expiration date hang upon?

Tofu expiration hangs upon its storage conditions. If this product is kept dry for too long, it will spoil and lose its qualities. That is why always make sure that it’s covered with clear and cool water that is changed daily. Also, a tightly closed tank is a must to avoid drying.

Dry air, an excess cold, and exposure of harmful bacteria – that’s what makes tofu expire.

How long is tofu good for after the expiration date?

This soy product remains edible for 3-5 days past its expiry date when refrigerated if the packet is unopened.

How to store opened tofu?

If the original package was unsealed, remove tofu to the sealable tank with a tight lid. Always keep it covered with water and change it every day ensuring that the lid if tightly closed.

Does tofu go bad? This question seems to have no particular answer. However, let’s try to find it out.

how long does tofu last

Related: Can You Freeze Goat Cheese?

How long is tofu good for
Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

How long does opened tofu last?

Once you opened the cheese, it will be edible for five days at most, regardless of its expiry date.

How long does unopened tofu last?

Unopened package with tofu will remain eatable and will keep all of its qualities for five days at most past the printed date but only if being chilled. 

How long does tofu last in the fridge?

The longest term that this soy cheese can last when refrigerated is five days no matter whether it is opened or not.

Does tofu need to be refrigerated
Photo by Elli O. on Unsplash

How long does frozen tofu last?

The frozen product will preserve its qualities for a period of three to five months.

How long does cooked tofu last?

The duration period for the cooked tofu is the same as for the raw variant and is five days at most when refrigerated

How to Refrigerate Tofu Correctly?


To preserve the tofu cheese accordingly and prevent it from rotting because of your improper actions, ensure that you follow several simple tips regarding its refrigerating and freezing.

You can, of course, keep the soy cheese in the fridge in its original package, however, if you already took it out and threw away the cover, find an airtight tank and put the tofu there covering it with enough clean water. No air must get inside as any external bacteria will cause the cheese to spoil. Also, keep the water always fresh as it will extend the duration of storage.

To freeze the soy cheese, drain it if the cheese was sold with water, then cut into pieces choosing the size you want. Afterward, wrap each piece or slice with a plastic wrap or put each of them into the individual freezer-friendly bag and toss to freeze.

Now your tofu will manage to last for several months!

How to Defrost Tofu Correctly
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How to Defrost Tofu Correctly?

Tofu is a great vegan substitute for meat, so no wonder that so many people freeze tofu to keep it safe longer. Some of us place the tofu container into the freezing section of the fridge, others choose to leave it in a chest freezer.   

However, a question often occurs on how to defrost this vegan curd foodstuff to preserve its texture and still have it safe to consume. Since we can store tofu frozen for up to five months, it can gradually become quite hard! 

Fortunately, frozen tofu is very simple to defrost! In addition, thawed foodstuff will be absorbing marinades more efficiently compared to the one left in the refrigerator.

The procedure is simple and can be done in three different ways.


The fastest method to use after we freeze tofu. 

  • Take the container with tofu out of the frosting camera
  • Throw the packaging away
  • Place the vegan soy cheese on a paper towel in the middle of the microwave-proof dish
  • Set the high mode and press the start button. Microwave tofu for 60 sec until it’s defrosted

It is recommended to check the foodstuff by piercing it with a toothpick or a knife. The texture must be soft enough for the knife to go through it effortlessly. Also, if you press tofu, it must feel soft and cool.

If your microwave doesn’t have a rotating plate, rotate tofu container yourself to ensure it gets in contact with heat evenly!

How to Cook TofuHow to Cook Tofu

Defrosting in hot water

This vegan foodstuff can be easily thawed in a pot with hot water.

For this, you’ll have to bring it to boil and simmer on medium heat for 5-25 min. Place the container into it and wait. A smaller block of cheese will become soft faster whereas bigger one will be thawing longer, so check the foodstuff for readiness every 5 min by poking it with a knife or press it.


The simplest option is to remove the packaging of a faux vegan cheese to the refrigerator overnight (or at least for 5 hours). In this case, don’t remove its packaging.

Defrosted soy cheese must stay in the refrigerator section to remain fresh and edible. If you store tofu like this, its quality won’t degrade so fast.

HOW TO COOK TOFU | crispy baked tofu recipeHOW TO COOK TOFU | crispy baked tofu recipe

How to Tell If Tofu Is Bad?

Keeping an eye on our foodstuff is a guarantee of our good health since nobody likes suffering from food poisoning. Indeed, sometimes it not easy to spot the moment when the foodstuff starts rotting, nevertheless, being attentive to what we keep in the fridge and how we do it will save not only our money but also our health. 

Does tofu expire?

Even though it’s not a dairy product, it tends to become spoiled if we fail to keep it properly. Some say that tofu can’t turn bad but unfortunately, this foodstuff is not eternal. Like any other product, tofu will sooner or later lose its qualities and become unsafe to consume.

tofu‌ ‌expire‌
Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Can tofu go bad if unopened?

This question bothers many of us. Does sealed tofu go bad? Of course, it does even if the storage conditions were perfect. Check the manufacturing date on the packet since tofu will remain edible for 2-3 months past this term.

How to tell if tofu has gone bad?

The best sign of spoiled tofu is its smell.

Bad tofu smells sour, besides, it gets darker and tastes not well, too.

When is tofu bad?

Usually, if we mess up with the storage conditions. Not enough moisture or too hot surroundings, the lid that’s not tight enough – any detail like this can become fatal.

Does fried tofu go bad?

No matter whether it’s a store-purchased product or the one that was cooked at home, cooking will extend its lifespan to 4-5 days more above the expiry date.

As you can see, soy cheese is not so dreadfully complicated when it comes to its keeping at home.

Thanks to these simple life hacks provided above, you’re now knowledgeable about how to keep tofu edible and store it correctly.

How long does cooked tofu last

Does tofu go bad?

In fact, it does as any product when being stored improperly. 

Sometimes it may be difficult to notice the moment when your tofu starts turning bad. However, there are several significant signs that will help you do that.

How to know if tofu is bad?

The color of the expired tofu is different from the fresh cheese and changes from white to more dark shades. Also, you will sense the off odor with sour notes and the taste will also be sour whilst the fresh soy cheese doesn’t smell and has a neutral taste.

Does tofu go bad if left out?

Not necessarily, in fact. If you bout tofu that was sold unrefrigerated, it can be stored in a pantry without any harm to your health.

how to keep tofu
Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

Can you eat expired tofu?

By no means! As any spoiled food, expired tofu can cause different foodborne illnesses.

Tofu is indeed a healthy and very useful product that can be used in many ways when cooking. These tips and life hacks that you found in this article will help you both to store it correctly and learn more about this wonderful product.

How to Cook Tofu. 5 Great Hints

Most people think that this vegan faux cheese can only be eaten as it is and it is a very boring dish. In fact, tofu can become a part of many delicious vegan dishes giving us a wide area for culinary experiments!

Press the juice out

Tofu often comes immersed in water. Before cooking, drain it, otherwise, the cheese won’t be able to absorb marinades so well.

If it is soft tofu, it will fit salad dressings or desserts. Hard cheese is good for scrambles and braised foods, whereas extra-firm soy foodstuff is great for frying, and baking.

Marinate it

Since tofu soaks flavors like a sponge, marinate it. Choose marinades that are acidic and have garlic, ginger, and/or soy sauce. 

For marinating, firm/extra-firm tofu is the best.

Fry it

Hard sorts of tofu are very good for frying, so coat it with cornstarch to prevent sticking, and crisp on the pan until it’s golden. 

How to Cook Tofu. 5 Great Hints
Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash


Bake or deep-fry

Hard tofu is not afraid of heat so feel free to cook it on a frying pan or in the oven both marinated and not when making vegan foods.

Eat with seasoning

Tofu can be consumed as it is with some homemade added seasoning as a perfect and light vegan food. Try to mix up soy sauce, sriracha, ginger, sesame oil, and katsuobushi (dried/smoked tuna). Sprinkle tofu with this blend before serving, and a perfect taste of Asian cuisine is ready!

Read next: Can You Freeze Cheese?

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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