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Can You Freeze Mapo Tofu?

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By Lewis Brindley

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Mapo tofu is a spiced and bright dish with tofu, pork, and several other delicious ingredients. If you’re a big fan of the classic Sichuan dish, you might want to batch-cook it. But then, how do you store it?

Can You Freeze Mapo Tofu?

Yes, you can freeze mapo tofu for up to 3 months. To do this, place it into rigid plastic containers, and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, seal the containers, remove excess air, and place them into the freezer.

Does Mapo Tofu Freeze Well? Sometimes

Can You Refreeze Mapo Tofu? No

How to Freeze Mapo Tofu

Freezing mapo tofu isn’t too complex, but doing it right is essential to ensure that your food is safe and retains its great flavour. Here are our step-by-step instructions:

  1. Portion Into Containers: Transfer the dish into rigid plastic containers in individual portions. Try to avoid crushing or squishing the food, but make sure that there are no great air pockets distributed through the dish.
  2. Cool: Allowing the food to cool to room temperature will reduce the amount of condensation that forms within the container. That, in turn, reduces the amount of water in the container that can freeze to ice.
  3. Seal: Seal the containers well after the food has cooled and remove as much excess air as possible. The best way to do this is to gently press on the sides and top of the container to physically press the air out.
  4. Freeze: These containers must be placed toward the centre of your freezer. When they’re kept at a distance from the freezer’s walls, it takes longer for frost to get to them.

3 Tips for Freezing Mapo Tofu

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing mapo tofu to have the best results:

Remove Excess Air
Removing excess air from the containers will allow you to ensure that as little condensation as possible occurs within the plastic containers. If you use good-quality freezer bag, it’s even easier to remove the air.

Mark with a Clear Date
Labelling the tofu with the correct date will ensure that you don’t have to worry about whether or not the food is safe. Include the date you froze them alongside a note that 3 months is a good time to use it by.

Make Extra Sauce
During freezing, some of the sauce can be lost to the tofu and the pork. If you’re making this meal with the knowledge that you’ll be freezing it, consider making a little extra sauce to thaw and eat alongside the tofu when you recook it. 

How Long Can You Freeze Mapo Tofu?

You can freeze mapo tofu for up to 3 months. Beyond 3 months, the food will become freezer burned, which is sure to reduce the quality of the meat and tofu drastically.

To ensure you get all 3 months, make sure the container you’re using is as tightly sealed as possible. That will prevent a level of frost from making its way into the container.

Frost is to be avoided as it is the harbinger of freezer burn, which will permanently damage the taste and texture of your food.

How Long Does Mapo Tofu Last in the Fridge?

Leftover mapo tofu can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days in a sealed container. It should be placed into the fridge as soon as it has cooled to room temperature.

How Do You Defrost Mapo Tofu?

You can defrost mapo tofu very quickly using the microwave. Place the opened container into the microwave and zap it on high power in repeated bursts of thirty seconds.

Repeat these thirty-second bursts until the dish is steaming hot throughout. It’s better to overcook it a little than to undercook it – steaming hot is safe.

Can You Refreeze Mapo Tofu?

No, you cannot refreeze mapo tofu.

The reason for this is that the dish contains pork, and meat cannot be thawed and refrozen under any circumstances.

This is because, when thawed, meat is likely to undergo bacterial growth which can lead to the presence of bacteria that can make you ill. That’s certainly something to avoid.

Does Mapo Tofu Freeze Well?

The dish will freeze at varying degrees of quality depending on which tofu you use. The firmer grade of tofu you use, the better the dish will freeze – extra firm freezes very well, while silken tofu loses a lot of texture during freezing.

Without taking the tofu into account, the dish freezes perfectly well – all the other ingredients can be frozen and thawed without a considerable decrease in quality.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing mapo tofu or tofu in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Takeaway Mapo Tofu?

We would err on the side of caution with takeaway mapo tofu as there is a chance that the pork was previously frozen.

Can You Freeze Vegan Mapo Tofu?

Yes, if the mapo tofu does not contain any meat elements then it will freeze particularly well for 4 to 6 months. It can also be refrozen.

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