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How to Store Tofu

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2014

When storing leftover tofu in water, will it last longer if the water is changed periodically?

We’ve always stored tofu in water. But we spoke to an artisanal tofu maker who recommended changing the water daily. We also read that storing it in lightly salted water is the best method. To find out which approach kept tofu tasting fresh the longest, we tried each using extra-firm, firm, and silken tofu, storing the samples in plastic containers. As controls, we also placed a sample of each style in a zipper-lock bag with as much air pressed out as possible.

The samples without any liquid lasted only four to six days. We don’t recommend storing tofu in salted water: Although these samples stayed fresh for two weeks, they also picked up a noticeable salty flavor almost immediately. The samples stored in water that we changed daily were edible for 10 days, after which they began losing flavor. However, in the end, our preferred method was our old standard: Submerging the tofu in plain tap water (and not changing it) kept the tofu as fresh-tasting as straight-from-the-package tofu for 10 days and didn’t require any maintenance. Just make sure that the water is clear; cloudy water can be a sign of bacterial growth and the tofu should be discarded.

UNDERWATER WINNER: Tofu stored in tap water keeps for up to 10 days.