Whether you're a meal prep kinda person or just have some leftovers that you might want to enjoy the next day, you might be confused and wondering- can you reheat tofu and tofu dishes?
Well, I've tackled just that for you, and experimented and tried out different reheating methods for different types of tofu.
Read on to discover how you can store your leftover tofu and tofu dishes for later, and the best ways to reheat them, based on their type and storage situation.
You can thank me later!
Tofu has become a staple in most vegan diets today, and that's for a good reason. Not only is it a great plant based source of protein, but is incredibly versatile too!
You can put it to use in a ton of different ways, and easily incorporate it into different recipes of your choosing.
Plus, you'll find it in many different versions and textures right from soft and firm to silken and even crispy tofu.
Storing Tofu Leftovers the Right Way
If tofu is already a part of your meals, you might have some leftovers that you would want to put to use later.
To do this, you'll need to make sure you store tofu the right way.
If you're wondering how long does tofu last, well, it can last anywhere between 2-5 days when refrigerated correctly.
If the tofu is still in its original packaging, you can just refrigerate it like that. If you've used a part of it and have some leftovers, you can immerse the tofu in an airtight container filled with water such that the tofu is immersed. This can then be refrigerated for up to 7 days.
Remember that you'll need to change the water outside of the tofu everyday to keep it fresh.
If you want it to last longer, you can also choose to freeze tofu, but if you're doing that, you'll need to let the tofu stay out at room temperature and thaw before you put it to use.
Can You Reheat Tofu?
You sure can! Tofu can be reheated in a number of different ways.
If you have some leftover tofu from the fridge, you can take out the tofu and then reheat it based on the kind of tofu you have.
Can I Reheat Tofu in the Microwave?
You sure can! This one's probably the easiest reheating method, and also the best way to reheat soft tofu in particular.
This is because microwaving helps retain the water from the tofu and keeps it nice and soft as opposed to other reheating methods.
I would recommend sticking to this method if you're trying to reheat plain tofu or soft silken tofu.
Also Read: Can You Reheat Edamame?
- To do this, you'll need to move the tofu in a microwave-safe bowl and then heat it in 20 second increments.
- To make sure the tofu is reheated evenly, you'll need to cut it into bite sized pieces.
- You can also choose to cover the fresh tofu in cling wrap, leaving a bit of space for the steam to escape. This helps preserve the moisture in the tofu well.
Remember that while it is much easier to reheat tofu in the microwave as opposed to reheating it in the pan or the oven, this method might not work well for certain kinds of tofu.
For example, if you want to reheat fried tofu, microwaving it isn't a great idea, as it can cause the texture of the tofu to change and become chewy and rubbery.
Can I Reheat Tofu in a Pan?
If you want to reheat tofu without it getting chewy, you can reheat it by pan-frying it. This is a great method to make the tofu crispy, which is particularly great for stir fry dishes.
- To do this, you'll need to place the tofu in a pan, and cook the tofu on medium heat until it starts to get a bit brown on one side.
- Once it has browned up, you'll need to flip it and cook tofu on the other side.
To prevent the tofu from sticking to the pan, I would recommend drizzling a bit of oil to grease the surface. You can use a cast iron skillet or a non stick pan to do this.
Can I Reheat Tofu by Steaming?
Steaming is one of my least favorite methods of reheating tofu and practically anything else.
While it does a good job and manages to reheat tofu properly, I'm not a big fan of how it needs so much effort.
- You'll need to start by boiling water in a large pot and place another pot or a perforated container over it, where you'll be placing the tofu that needs to be reheated.
- Then, you'll need to cover the whole thing with a lid and allow the tofu to stay in there for a few minutes until it has warmed up enough.
The results from this method were very similar to microwaving tofu, and quite frankly, I won't recommend it, simply because it needs more effort and time than microwaving does.
Can I Reheat Tofu in the Oven?
If you have a large batch of tofu that you want to reheat, using your oven is the way to go. This is also one of the methods to get that crispy and textured outside to the tofu that you really want, which can be great if you're planning to use it to make a tofu stir fry dish.
- Press the tofu to remove any excess water- you can use paper towels to do this.
- Place the tofu on a baking sheet greased with a bit of olive oil or cooking spray, and pop it into a preheated oven.
- Let the tofu cook for 5-10 minutes until it has warmed up nicely, and then get it out and use it for your recipes.
This method causes the tofu to become crispy on the outside and stay soft on the inside- just like what you can expect when you reheat it in a pan.
What is the Best Way to Reheat Tofu?
There's quite literally no one size fits all solution to reheating tofu- it all depends on how much tofu you have, and the kind of tofu you want to reheat.
Reheating Silken Tofu
Silken tofu has a soft, custard like consistency, so reheating it in the microwave makes the most sense.
If you don't want to use a microwave, you can put the tofu in a pot of boiling water and let it stay there for a few minutes, then drain off the excess water and use the tofu as you would.
Reheating Firm Tofu
Got some firm tofu that you want to reheat? Simply cut the tofu and let it sit for a while outside the refrigerator before you reheat the tofu.
You can choose to reheat this in the oven, the microwave, in a pan or by steaming- all depending on what you want the end result to be like.
If you want your tofu to have a crispy texture on the outside, you can choose to pan fry or bake it. In contrast, if you want to keep the tofu from drying, you can microwave or steam it.
Reheating Tofu in a Sauce
The best way to reheat tofu cooked in a sauce is to microwave it. That's exactly what I did for my baked Teriyaki tofu recipe.
When you reheat it in the microwave, it will get warm and might get slightly spongy and soft, but you don't need the crispiness here anyway!
Reheating Stir Fried Tofu
Stir fried tofu requires a bit of texture, so pan frying or baking is the way to go when it comes to reheating it.
If your leftover tofu is stored in the refrigerator, you'll need to get it out and get the tofu at room temperature and dab away all the excess water before you pan fry or bake it.