Freezing Tofu is a technique to give tofu a firmer, chewier texture that mimics chicken. This is the plant-based hack that will blow your mind!
The freezing Tofu hack video is my most popular video on TikTok (1.9M views), and this year, I decided to bring it back with more in-depth informative details.
Why Freeze Tofu?
Freezing tofu is a method that can help change the texture of the tofu, as the water in the tofu becomes ice and can create air holes when thawed. It works well for dishes where you want to use tofu as meat replacements (such as tofu 'chicken' nuggets, fried 'chicken' tofu, lemongrass tofu or grilled tofu 'pork'). This is because the frozen and thawed tofu has a meaty, chewy texture that is similar to chicken and can absorb the marinade much easier!
However, if you are trying to make dishes like scrambled 'tofu' eggs or traditional tofu dishes like mapo tofu, tofu soup, this method is not necessary.
Advantages of Freezing Tofu
There are many advantages to freezing tofu, namely:
- The tofu becomes much easier to press:
If pressing the fresh tofu normally can take half an hour, frozen and thawed tofu can easily release all the excess moisture. Just use your hand and squeeze out the water on top of the kitchen sink, or put tofu in between two plates/chopping boards, and put something heavy on top. This process is much faster and no special equipment is needed.
- The tofu can absorb the flavorful marinade easier
Since the tofu releases all of its moisture and becomes very dry, it can marinade your desired flavors easier and much faster.
- The tofu mimics the texture of meat
As mentioned before, the water in the tofu in the freezing process creates air bubbles and makes the tofu chewy that is much like chicken.
- The tofu can keep for longer
If you freeze the tofu, it can keep for months after the expiration date. If you have leftover tofu, you can freeze it for later also.
How to freeze tofu?
Remove firm or extra-firm from your package, then drain and move it to an airtight container.
Put the container in the freezer. After 8 hours, remove it from the freezer.
Thaw the tofu in one of the 3 methods:
- Thaw by Microwave: Put it in the microwave and use the defrost setting for 5 minutes or more. Check if it's fully thawed in the middle. After thawing, let it cool down before handling.
- Thaw by Refridgerator: Transfer the tofu to the fridge for 8 hours to thaw.
- Thaw in Room Temperature: Put the tofu out to thaw in room temp, for about 4 hours.
Press the tofu with your hand on top of your sink or put something on top to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Cut the tofu or tear it into chunks. Now the tofu is ready to absorb all the flavors and marinade.