How to Thaw Tofu Quickly: Best Methods Highlighted

The versatile tofu. It can be used in a variety of cooking recipes from stews, soups and stir fry to name a few.

If you are in cooking mode and have some tofu sitting in the freezer, I am sure you are here because you want to know how to go about thawing it out quickly.

We will look at how to defrost tofu quickly, as well as highlighting the pros and cons of each recommended method.

What to Know Before Defrosting the Tofu

tofu in a bowl, sitting on a marble countertop

If you haven’t started doing it, then you should always freeze your tofu before cooking it.

There is a significant change in the tofu’s texture and many people use this as their go to option.

When frozen, ice crystals form and these crystals create small holes in the tofu.

Slate had something to say, explaining that the small holes make it “far spongier, firmer, and chewier than it was before. No amount of draining, patting dry, or pressing tofu can minimize sogginess as much as freezing does.

Related: How to Thaw Salmon

How to Thaw Tofu? 3 Best Options Highlighted

How to Thaw Tofu: The 3 Best Options Highlighted

Thawing tofu is an easy process and there are different methods that can be used to get this product defrosted.

The three best ways to defrost tofu are:

  • Letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator
  • Use microwave.
  • Thaw in warm water

Let us a dig a little deeper into each method below.

Overnight in the Refrigerator: The Best Method

Bowl of tofu with varying ingredients being prepared to be cooked.

The recommended way to thaw frozen tofu is by letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

In doing so, you are guaranteed that it will be fully defrosted when you are ready to use it.


  1. Remove frozen tofu from the freezer a day before you plan to use it.
  2. Place the tofu in a container and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.
  3. When you are ready to cook the tofu, it should be fully thawed out after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.

Pros: Safest way to thaw, without worry of the growth of food borne bacteria. Perfect for those who pre-plan their meals.

Cons: Overnight thawing is a slow method and not ideal for people who need the tofu thawed quickly.

Microwave: Quickest Option

Cooked tofu in a bowl with eggs and other vegetables

The quickest way to defrost tofu is to use the microwave.

Using this method, you can have the frozen tofu thawed and ready to cook in only a couple of minutes.


  1. Take the frozen tofu and place in a microwave safe container or plate.
  2. Turn the microwave setting to the defrost or low power setting.
  3. Zap the frozen product for 1 minute. Check to see if it is thawed to your liking, if not repeat in 15-30 second intervals.
  4. The above step should be repeated until the tofu is completely defrosted.

Please Note: Pay attention to the tofu as it thaws. The microwave can cook it, even during short periods of time, leaving it rubbery and inedible.

Pros: Quick way to quickly thaw, especially if you need to cook the tofu in a hurry.

Cons: If left in the microwave too long, the tofu can overheat and begin to cook.

Warm Water: Relatively Quick Thawing Method

If you do not have or want to use a microwave to thaw your tofu, you can also use the warm water method.

It is relatively quick and should have the tofu ready to cook in under 30 minutes.


  1. Heat a pot of water, bringing it to a boil.
  2. Let the water cool a bit, then place the frozen tofu in the now warm water.
  3. The tofu should begin to thaw, if it is still frozen, you may need to heat the water up again.
  4. Check every 5 minutes to see if it is ready. You will be able to tell by using a knife to see if it is soft enough.
  5. Once thawed, squeeze out excess water before cooking.

Pros: Quick method, useful if you don’t have a microwave and need the tofu defrosted quickly.

Cons: You have to constantly check to see if it is thawed.

Wrapping it up

OK, we’ve now come to the end.

Was I able to give sufficiently answer your questions regarding the best ways to thaw frozen tofu?

I want to know which method you are going to be using from now on.

Leave a comment below and let me know.

Leave a Comment