How well does cooked tofu freeze?
I am starting to cook more and more tofu, and I'm wondering how well a stew or something along those lines with tofu in it would freeze. Would the tofu's consistency hold up ok? Stews, soups are always good things to make in double batches and freeze, so it would be great to be able to double up on my next tofu recipe. Thanks in advance for any info.
When you freeze tofu, ice crystals form in it and create tiny pockets. The color and texture change, and it turns into "Thousand Layer" Tofu. Which is good stuff in hot pot or soup, very absorbent and chewier. But it definitely becomes different, and may not suit your taste. You might try freezing a little tofu, thawing it out, and seeing what you think before doing a whole bunch with it already in there.
My only experience has been when freezing excess mapo dofu. I do not care for the change. It reminds me of backpacking meals of TVP (textured vegetable protein) which, in turn, reminds me of a vicose sponges that have been tossed in a blender and "processed" lightly. I tend to use the softer and smoother types of tofu, and so the contrast is greater. You may use the extra firm or even broiled and it may hold up better. As others have suggested, try it and see.
Wow, thank you all for the very informative responses. I had pretty much figured it would change some, but not as drastically as you're describing. I'll give it a try with just a portion, and see what I think, but I'm getting the impression I won't be thrilled with it. Thanks again - really really helpful.
Mom, I would make the extra soup without the tofu and freeze. You can add tofu when you reheat the soup. The tofu just needs to be heated anyway.