food 4 tots

Frozen tofu salad with creamy sesame dressing

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Being a curious person, I always love asking questions. Since becoming a mom, a home chef and a food blogger, I have even more questions to ask – more than ever before! Unfortunately, most are still unanswered. :-(  But I believe if I keep asking questions, it will surely lead me to some pleasant discoveries.

 

“FROZEN TOFU” – I found this “mysterious” ingredient in Wendy’s post when browsing her great blog. True enough, the very next moment, my mind is overloaded with question marks.

 

What is it?  How does it taste?  Why do I need to freeze it?  How do I freeze it?  How can I cook it?”

 

Driven by curiosity and without giving much thought, I immediately went ahead to freeze a block of tofu. I felt so amused with this impulsive act. Anyway, I spent some time to explore further. After cooking this frozen tofu, I find myself prefer the texture of frozen tofu over that of the fresh ones. Why? Just read on.

 

Frozen tofu, also known as “Thousand Layer Tofu” (千葉豆腐), is nothing new if you go to dig more from Wikipedia (Yes, I know. I’m so slow to learn this.). Freezing tofu will not affect its nutritional value but would trigger a change in its texture from smooth and creamy to spongy and porous. Large ice crystals developed within the tofu during the freezing process cause the formation of large cavities which appear to be layered. Frozen tofu will take on a yellowish hue. When thawed, the tofu loses a fair amount of water. At this point, you can easily squeeze out any excess water from the tofu. This will give the tofu a greater capacity to absorb whatever flavour you’re cooking or marinating with.

 

Though you can freeze any types of tofu, the firm or extra firm ones (for silken tofu) are much easier to handle and work best. It’s also important to drain the tofu before freezing. This will ensure little moisture is retained in the tofu, which will make it structurally more stable and firm after being thawed.

 

Learning how to freeze tofu is as simple as it sounds. Simply follow the step-by-step tutorial in PAGE 3. Tofu can be frozen as a whole in its original container, or drained and wrapped in plastic wrap until it’s needed. The former produces a softer consistency texture than the latter. Or, you can also choose to cut it into slabs or cubes prior to freezing, separating them with greaseproof or plastic paper. The method chosen will depend on how you plan to use it.

 

Due to its “leathery” texture, frozen tofu is not suitable to use for creamy dishes such as smoothie, spread or dips. However, it’s perfect for stir-frying, grilling, addition to soup, stews or salad, and sandwich filling. It can also be sliced, breaded and pan-fried like cutlets. If you are looking for a vegetarian substitute that produces a chewy, meat-like texture, then frozen tofu is a good option.

 

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I make frozen tofu salad for my family recently. It’s such a refreshing meal to enjoy during this superhot weather. After the tofu is thawed, I cut the tofu into cubes and pan-fry them till nicely brown. To give this salad a colourful touch and crunchy bite, I add cherry tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers and sweet corns. A sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds over the salad will add some wonderful aroma and crunch too. Feel free to try out other ingredients of your choice. You can eat this salad either at room temperature or chilled from the fridge. You can also include some cooked pasta and turn this salad into a wholesome one dish meatless meal.

 

I concocted a Japanese creamy sesame dressing to compliment this salad. The dressing is burst with fragrant sesame flavour. For a creative twist, you can prepare this sauce as a delicious dip and serve it with mini vegetable skewers or colourful vegetable sticks. It’s another effective way to encourage your little ones to eat more vegetables. This simple salad is so good – healthy, easy to assemble and flavourful. I told myself that I could eat it everyday.

 

A happy ending to my new discovery!

 

Other recommended reading references:
100 things to do with tofu
Frequentlt asked questions about tofu
How to freeze tofu wit tips and its benefits
How to freeze tofu (cooking information and techniques)
Can you freeze tofu?

 

Get the recipe for FROZEN TOFU SALAD WITH CREAMY SESAME DRESSING at PAGE 2 BELOW

Learn HOW TO FREEZE TOFU with step by step tutorial and tips at PAGE 3 BELOW

 

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28 Comments

  1. MaryMoh says:

    This just looks so healthy! Love those frozen tofu. I love to cook them in sauce where it can absorb all the lovely flavour. Love those baby tomatoes. I just bought a packet this morning to add to salads.

  2. JJ says:

    Hi! Nice blog. I really enjoy your blog. Great recipes, easy to follow and great photos too. May I know what camera you use & what lens? Thanks.

  3. Joanne says:

    I adore the texture of frozen tofu! More than that, though, I adore this dressing. Sounds fabulous!

  4. Ching @ LCOM says:

    You really got me intriguing, so I went ahead and freeze my firm tofu to test it out. :D

  5. tigerfsh says:

    How coincidental! Just yesterday, I watched a cooking pgm about freezing tofu. It seems frozen tofu (after being thawed) absorbs marinade and seasoning really well.

  6. Alice says:

    This is so amazing! I will surely try it later…. :D

  7. What a yummy salad recipe! I love the dressing. Must try that soon. I’ve heard of frozen tofu but haven’t done that yet either. Does it have the texture of agedofu? It kind of looks like it! But I imagine it has less oil. Thanks for posting. :)

    • food-4tots says:

      Melissa: Thanks!! Hope it suits your palate. No, the texture is different than agedofu. It’s more chewy and spongy. Do give it a try. Happy trying!! ;)

  8. amy says:

    These look amazing and super refreshing. What a great dish to have in the summer. I love all the vibrant colors in this salad. :)

  9. I just read your tutorial on how to remove tofu from the box – thanks so much! Super useful tips.

    • food-4tots says:

      The Sudden Cook: It’s my pleasure to share. I find that it is easier to remove tofu from the packaging for Unicurd brand as compared to Fortune brand. Give it a try. ;)

  10. I often freeze spicy tofu as it’s always packed in a large packet, that I can’t finish before it expires. So I’d freeze the rest once I open the packet. Great flavours retain.

  11. thank you for sharing, I honestly did not know about frozen tofu, wonderful dressing!

  12. This is so interesting! Thanks for the sharing, shall give that a try one day. And I’m still yet to make the 2nd try of the mushipan. Hopefully can try it out this weekend with your advices :)

  13. noobcook says:

    I used to freeze tofu for my hamster but never tried to use the frozen ones for my cooking. Your salad looks beautiful, and I can’t really tell you’re using frozen tofu cubes.

  14. Now you make me curious if I had eaten any frozen tofu before…. I’ve never cooked it before, but I might had it somewhere else. I checked your sesame dressing and I love it! My son who is not big fan of salad started to eat when he has sesame dressing on it (what a great discovery!). I’m going to try making this dressing soon. THANKS!!

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