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Tofu Basics

Tofu is high in protein, low in fat, and a good source of calcium, iron and B vitamins.

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  • Tofu is usually in a refrigerated case. It may be packed in water or vacuum packed without water. There are also shelf-stable packages that do not need refrigeration until opened.
  • Check the 'Best by' date on the package. It usually allows a month or more after purchase as long as the package is unopened.
  • Match the type of tofu to the recipe. Soft or silken tofu has a creamy texture and blends easily. Medium will crumble easily. Firm, extra-firm or super-firm tofu will hold its shape.

Pressing Tofu

Pressing tofu removes excess water and makes it more firm. Flavor marinades may absorb more easily.

  • Soft or silken tofu is too fragile to press well. Use it as is for creamy dishes like smoothies and dips.
  • Frozen tofu will have an open texture with larger, visible holes. Press water out easily with clean hands. It absorbs marinades well.
  • To press fresh medium to super-firm tofu, apply gentle, steady pressure:
  1. Place tofu between layers of folded paper towels or clean dishtowels on a plate.
  2. Cover with another flat plate to help distribute the weight.
  3. Add enough weight to press out liquid without collapsing the tofu. A large can of food would work.
  4. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes or longer. Replace towels if needed.
  5. Cut the tofu into desired pieces and use or freeze.

Store Well Waste Less

  • Store unopened tofu the same way you found it in the store.
  • Refrigerate all tofu after opening and use within 5 days. Cover with fresh water and change daily
  • Spoiled tofu has a strong sour smell and may feel slimy.
  • Freeze tofu for up to 5 months. It may absorb flavorings more easily. The texture will become more firm, chewy and sponge-like. The color darkens. Soft or silken tofu will no longer be creamy.
  • Freeze the entire package as purchased or drain, press, and cut tofu before re-packaging in freezer quality plastic wrap or bags.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or thaw in cold water or a microwave just before using.

Crumble tofu into ground beef for tacos, spaghetti, and other seasoned mixtures.

Cooking with Tofu


Tofu Banana Pudding

Tofu "Egg" Salad

Baked Tofu

Kids Can!

When kids help make healthy food, they are more likely to try it. Show kids how to:

  • measure and mix ingredients.
  • crumble tofu or cut it into slices, cubes or sticks.
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