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I froze some soft tofu cause it was halfway to expiration and I didn’t need it for a bit. I took it out to make mapo tofu and you usually simmer the tofu in warm water for a bit before you cook with it. So I did that then strained it and left it in the strainer while I assembled all the other ingredients. When I came back the tofu cubes I had cut were all completely flat. What happened?

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  • What sort of tofu? Firm? Had you pressed it first?
    – Chris H
    Jan 11, 2021 at 22:22
  • Is this something you've done with Tofu in the past (that is, freeze then simmer)? If so, what kind of tofu do you usually use, and what did you use this time?
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 11, 2021 at 22:55
  • I used soft tofu Jan 12, 2021 at 3:21
  • There were several other questions in that comment. If you want folks to help you with answers, you really need to provide more information.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 19, 2021 at 19:16

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I don't know for sure, but I have a theory. Tofu contains a lot of water or soy whey. Soft tofu contains even more than firm varieties. This water is trapped in the cell structure of the soy proteins when they coagulated and were pressed together

Freezing causes water, which has now, of course become a solid, to expand. When you simmered you tofu in warm water, you very quickly thawed the tofu, rupturing the cell structure.

We know from examining the thawing of other frozen products, like chicken breast for example, that quick thawing leads to higher moisture loss than slow thawing in the refrigerator.

So, I think, in your case, you rapidly destroyed the structure that typically keeps the water in place. The water left the tofu, and tofu flattened.

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    In my experience freezing tofu drastically changes the texture, making it sponge-like and fragile. I've theorized the same thing.
    – kitukwfyer
    Jan 12, 2021 at 14:09

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