How to reheat tofu: 3 effective ways

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You find yourself with leftover fried tofu often. It’s one healthy and economical meal with a low calorific value. It is rich in protein and packed with minerals and nutrients.

Other than that, it is versatile and perfect for vegans. Most people don’t know how to reheat their leftover tofu in the fridge. 

So in this article, we will learn how you can reheat tofu cooked in different forms; may it be whole tofu, teriyaki tofu, or tofu scramble, and still maintain the shape they were at in the first place.

We will also cover how to store leftover tofu, how to tell if tofu is spoilt, and so much more. So, let us begin!

What is tofu?

Is tofu new to you? If so, let’s understand what really is tofu.

Tofu is a food that is prepared using coagulated or condensed soy milk. The curd is pressed together upon coagulation to form a solid block, the now-famous white block known as tofu.

Tofu has also been referred to as bean curd as prepared from soybeans.It is an ancient dish of Chinese origin but has spread in different parts of the world and serves as a good cheese alternative.

 Tofu is also good with lactose intolerant persons and can be enjoyed in so many ways. 

How long does cooked tofu last?

All foods containing moisture go bad with time. Different foods, however, have different time durations they take for them to go bad.

Firstly, cooked tofu should not be left sitting for more than 2 hours to avoid bacterial contamination that hastens spoilage.

An unopened tofu pack lasts longer compared to one that is opened. Ensure you check the shelf life of the unopened tofu.

Once cooked, their lives deteriorate faster, especially when stored in unsafe conditions where bacteria growth is quick, thus contaminating your food.  

Properly stored tofu can last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Note that tofu is a versatile food; its versatility also affects the storage time you choose to incorporate.

Tofu mixed with other foods should not go for more than 3 days. When cooked with rice, tofu should just go for 2 days to minimize the risk of food poisoning. 

Can you reheat tofu? If so, how?

Yes! You can reheat tofu, whether it is fried or chewy and soft. The soft version is a perfect meat substitute. Check out some of the reheating methods you can incorporate.

Reheating tofu in a pan

Understandably, not everyone has an oven in their kitchens, but you will find a stove in almost every kitchen.

That is why using a pan on a stovetop is one of the best and most preferred ways of reheating your fried tofu.

The best part of this method is that your tofu regains its crispiness while maintaining its taste. So here is the process of reheating tofu in a pan.


  • Retrieve your tofu from storage, refrigerator, or freezer.
  • Let it sit at room temperature for some time. If it was stored in the freezer, you should first thaw it in the refrigerator for some time.
  • Take your pan and place it on your stovetop.
  • Pour some oil onto it- 2 teaspoons can do and spread it evenly onto the pan’s bottom.
  • Heat the pan till the oil gets bubbly.
  • Add tofu into the pan, then stir them using a spatula.
  • Stir between the cooking time frequently, so it doesn’t burn.
  • Cook for up to 8 minutes, so your tofu reheats perfectly.
  • Once ready, leave it to sit for 2 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

Preheating the pan adds crispiness and prevents the tofu from sticking onto it. Some people also spread a coat to add some extra crispiness that we all love.

Reheat tofu in an oven

Conventional ovens use dry heat to heat your tofu. So you are guaranteed that they will have a nice crispy exterior.

Fried tofu requires a constant temperature and slow cooking. Toaster ovens are pretty similar to conventional ones and also reheat tofu well.


  • Heat the oven beforehand, at 300 degrees F.
  • After the oven preheats, leave it for at least 2 minutes so that heat spreads out throughout the oven.
  • Take an oven-safe dish or pan and place an aluminium foil on its bottom to prevent the tofu from sticking onto it. 
  • Fried tofu will require some splash of oil, so pour some oil onto the tofu.
  • Take your tofu and arrange it on the aluminium foil without overcrowding them.
  • Wrap the tofu in an aluminium cover or wrap the pans/ dish lid with it.
  • Place the pan/dish into the oven and heat for 10 minutes.
  • After that, remove the pan/dish from the oven, inspect whether tofu has reheated well and whether it has a perfect crisp on its exterior. 
  • If it hasn’t achieved the crispiness you want, reheat until it attains.
  • Serve and enjoy!

If you will be working with a toaster oven, set it to 320 degrees Fahrenheit and reheat for 5 minutes. 

Reheat tofu in the microwave

Reheating tofu in the microwave is straightforward and reheats soft tofu perfectly. The downward side of the microwave method is it requires some extra attention.  It is easy for your tofu to overcook and get soggy.

Therefore, it is recommended to preheat the tofu at a low setting at a given duration. Preheating fried tofu in the microwave could ruin its crispy texture and make it rubbery. 


  • Place tofu in a microwavable dish.
  • Sprinkle some water onto the tofu so that it doesn’t dry up in the reheating process.
  • Set the heat to low.
  • Cover the dish with a plastic wrap loosely to allow steam to escape as you microwave. 
  • Heat the tofu for 1 minute or 1 ½ minute while checking them in 30-second intervals to determine whether they arewarm all through.

How to reheat tofu in a pan

Reheating tofu in a pan is a very effective method, perfect for meals with tofu and tofu on their own. Your tofu will not lose its taste or even crispiness when reheating it on the stovetop.

The good thing about this method is that it is pretty affordable and accessible.


  • Remove your tofu from its storage. If it was in the fridge, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Place your pan onto the stovetop and pour 2 teaspoonfuls of oil onto it.
  • Heat the oil until it gets bubbly.
  • Place the tofu onto the oil in the pan, then stir lightly.
  • After a few seconds, 15 or so, stir the tofu and flip it to the other side, so it doesn’t burn.
  • Keep reheating the tofu until they reheat thoroughly.
  • Remove from stove and leave the tofu to sit for a while. 
  • Now your tofu is ready to eat.

How to reheat fried tofu

Reheating fried tofu adds some extra flavor and texture to your dish. It’s the best method to reheat fried tofu.


  • Pat dry your tofu with a paper towel.
  • Add some oil to the pan.
  • Heat up the oil and place your tofu in the pan.
  • Let the tofu heat for about five minutes per side until it is hot all the way through.

How to reheat tofu in a steamer

The steamer is not perfect if you want crisp tofu. You can use a steamer itself or make a makeshift with a pan and a sieve if you don’t have a steamer in your space.


  • Boil some water and set a sieve(that will act as the steamer)over the pan.
  • Pour your tofu into the steamer and cover with a lid.
  • Leave the tofu to steam for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • You can then serve your tofu and enjoy.

How to store leftover tofu

Tofu, a versatile food, can be stored in the fridge or freezer, whether plain cooked tofu or tofu cooked in some other dish.

Plainly cooked tofu

You can store your cooked tofu in the refrigerator. All you will need to do is add the tofu to an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator.

If you are storing crispy tofu and want to maintain the crispiness, avoid storing it close to each other and ensure you also use two layers of paper towels so they soak in the excess moisture. 

The freezer is also another excellent storage option. You will lay tofu onto a baking tray and place it in the freezer until the tofu gets frozen.

After that, remove it from the freezer and add it to a freezer bag, ensuring no air is left in it, then toss it back into the freezer. Frozen tofu can last for 3 months in the freezer.

Tofu cooked in another dish

If you will be eating the tofu in some days’ time, place it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can also freeze the tofu by adding it to an air-tight container and placing it in the freezer.

The only drawback of freezing tofu in another dish is that the tofu might get watery and drain the water into the other food.

Tips for storing tofu

  • Press out excess water from your tofu if you store it in the freezer.
  • Avoid overcrowding tofu in one container. Store it in small containers in small batches.
  • Always allow tofu to cool before storing it.
  • Tofu should always be stored in air-tight containers or Ziploc bags that do not allow air to pass through them.

How to know if tofu is bad

Many people enjoy having tofu, but at some point, it spoils, making it unfit for consumption. So how do you tell if the tofu is safe to eat?

1. Packaging

The first thing you should check on tofu packaging is the expiry date. If it is expired, you should just throw it away. If the packaging has no expiry date, check if it is inflated.

If it has, then the tofu is not safe to eat. Inflation of the package occurs when fermentation kicks in the tofu.

2. Smell

The smell of tofu is another indicator to tell if your tofu is safe to eat or not. Spoilt has a bad sour smell.

3. Appearance

The color of good tofu should be egg white. If your tofu has a yellow or brownish color, it is spoilt. You might even notice some mold growth on it and a slimy appearance.

Frozen tofu might have a brownish tan that shouldn’t cause worry.

4. Texture

Good tofu should be firm. If the tofu is a bit soft, it is a sign that it’s gone bad.

Can you freeze cooked tofu? If so, how?

Yes, cooked tofu can be frozen and consumed up to 3 months later. Freezing the tofu can change its color due to the high moisture content. The taste and texture might also change.

 Let us understand how one should freeze cooked tofu.

i) Allowing the tofu to cool

Freshly cooked tofu should not be tossed directly in the freezer; instead,it should be given time to cool off. Storingtofu while still warm causes condensation that makes moisture soak in the tofu.

ii) Storing tofu

Use an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag to store the cooked tofu. Avoid overcrowding the tofu in one container so that you will not have any leftovers from either of them after removing the tofu that you need. 

III) Sealing/closing the packaging

Seal your freezer bag and squeeze out the air from it. You can also close the container you will have stored the tofu in tightly so that no air gets in.

iv) Label and freeze

Label the container/freezer bag with the date the tofu was stored and its due consumption rate. After that, go ahead and freeze the contents.


Frequently asked questions

How long does tofu last once cook

At room temperature, tofu should not last for more than 2 hours. If stored in the refrigerator, the tofu can last for 3-5 days as long as it is well covered and not stored with sauce.

Does cooked tofu need to be refrigerated?


Cooked tofu should definitely be refrigerated if it is not to be consumed before 2 hours lapse. The tofu will go for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. However, it is necessary not to keep opening the door frequently as it might cause the food to spoil.

How long does tofu last once opened?

Opened tofu lasts in the fridge for 5 days if stored properly. You can also store the opened leftover tofu in a container filled with water that needs to be changed daily, so the tofu doesn’t spoil. Such tofu should remain fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Does tofu help in losing weight?


Tofu is cholesterol-free and filled with calcium and manganese. Upon eating it, it ideally leaves you feeling full for extended periods.


Now you understand how to reheat tofu; nothing can stop you! The good thing is that the tofu is not limited to one reheating method. There re so much more to explore every time you have some leftovers.

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