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Can You Eat Raw Tofu? Safety, Taste and Recipes

Tofu is one of the staple foods for vegans and people that stick to plant based-diet. It is often used baked, cooked, or fried, but what about eating tofu raw?
Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN

Written by Zeynep Ozdemir, RDN. Updated on December 10, 2022.

The increasing popularity of eating raw, and especially its connection with veganism, brings to mind whether some foods can be consumed raw.

One of the foods that come to mind in this trend is tofu. Raw tofu is tofu that is demanded to be consumed without cooking after being pressed and packaged.

Tofu is made from soy milk and is often found baked or fried in recipes. If you want to try tofu raw and cold to your taste, this won’t be anything out of the ordinary.

It is possible to say that tofu is actually suitable for raw consumption. The most commonly consumed raw tofu derivatives are silken tofu and soft tofu.

However, as with any uncooked food, you may have health concerns and safety questions. In this article, we will discuss raw tofu consumption, its safety, what recipes it can be used in, and what it tastes like.

Is It Safe to Eat Raw Tofu?

As long as you take the necessary precautions to maintain proper hygiene, there is no risk involved.

Tofu, like any other meal, has the same potential for microbial contamination as any other food, and if it is not kept or cooked properly, a person who consumes it runs the risk as a result.

However, this is not something that is exclusive to consuming raw tofu. It is not any more hazardous than the vast majority of many other foods, and in comparison to some other foods, such as salad greens or rare beef tenderloin, it has a far reduced threat of food poisoning.

Taking the necessary safety measures with any food that you want to consume or serve is something that we strongly advise you to do at all times.

Potential Benefits

Since tofu is a product that has previously been cooked, the concept of eating it in its raw form is a little bit deceptive.

Soybeans are first soaked, next boiled, and then the resulting soy milk is used to produce tofu.

After that, the soy milk is recooked, and ingredients that help it thicken, called coagulants, are applied so that it may be formed into a cake.

Consuming tofu in its straight form from the original packaging may have a variety of advantageous effects.

Because it doesn’t take any preparation beyond draining extra moisture, including tofu in your meal is one of the easiest and least costly methods to increase the amount of plant-based protein that you can consume.

In addition to this, it is an excellent source of a variety of essential elements, including phosphorus, calcium, manganese iron, and magnesium.

It is very practical and easy to add raw tofu to various recipes. Examples of these foods include purees, smoothies, and even ice creams.

Consuming tofu in its uncooked state reduces one’s exposure to potentially dangerous oils and fats that could be added through traditional preparation techniques.

Also, tofu has relatively low calorie and fat content. A delicious consumption that is possible without added oil can be beneficial and helpful for individuals with calorie restrictions.

Potential Risks

Since tofu is an already cooked item, the danger of foodborne diseases from eating it raw is lower than it would be from eating raw meat or eggs.

Nevertheless, depending on the way it was made, consuming raw tofu might put you at risk for a variety of foodborne diseases.

During the process of making tofu, it is possible for it to get contaminated, just like any other product that is manufactured conventionally.

It is possible that this might occur as a result of cross-contamination if the product came in contact with germs from some other product, or if a worker sneezed, coughed, or handled the product without first washing their hands.

Since tofu is kept in water, there is an increased danger that it might get contaminated with germs that are present in the water.

In one instance, which occurred in the early 1980s, a serious gastrointestinal illness caused by Yersinia enterocolitica was traced back to tofu that had been manufactured at a company where the water used in the production process was not treated.

A bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes, which is capable of causing symptoms of foodborne disease, may also be present in raw tofu. On the other hand, tofu is often treated with preservatives like nisin so that it does not develop bacteria.

In addition, raw tofu fermented with yeast is different from fermented tofu sold in supermarkets. Yeast-fermented tofu is riskier because it contains a variety of dangerous pathogens, including a toxin (Clostridium botulinum) that can even cause paralysis.

Certain groups, such as those with weakened immunity or immature development, are at a greater risk of more catastrophic effects of foodborne disease.

These populations include young children, pregnant women, individuals with autoimmune diseases, infants, and elderly people.

These individuals, just as they would do with other kinds of food, should engage in proper food handling and storage practices when dealing with raw tofu.

The following are examples of possible symptoms of foodborne illness:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Gas

A medical expert should be seen in the event that severe symptoms are present.

What Does Raw Tofu Taste Like?

It is dependent on the particular brand of tofu that you are consuming.

Both silken tofu and soft block tofu have a significantly high water content when they are uncooked, however, because they have fairly neutral tastes, they are both appropriate for mixing into liquid dishes.

Silken tofu has a higher water content than soft tofu.

When consumed raw, firm tofu will have a consistency that is “wetter” than it would after being cooked.

If you would like to reduce this effect as much as possible, you can try pressing the tofu with two paper towels for a time before you serve it.

Tofu that has been fermented has a taste that is far more robust than that of other sorts, particularly when consumed raw and on its own.

Raw Tofu Recipes

You can include raw tofu in your smoothies, purees, salad dressings, and ice creams. Here we’ll show you how you can incorporate raw tofu with a few sample recipes.

Berry Tofu Smoothie


6 ounces tofu (silk)
1 frozen banana
1/3 cup soy milk
1 cup mixed berries (blueberry, cherry, blackberry, strawberry)
Ice cubes (Optional)


The silken tofu is placed on a paper towel and the excess water is released.

All ingredients are mixed in a high-speed blender until a homogeneous and smooth consistency is obtained.

Tofu Yogurt


8 ounces tofu (silken)
1 medium banana (frozen)
2 tbsp nondairy milk (soy or almond milk)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp agave syrup


This is quite an easy tofu yogurt recipe. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and whir them up until the mixture is silky smooth and creamy.

If you want to make fruit-flavored yogurt, add some fresh fruit like blueberries, cranberries, or bananas.

Chocolate Tofu Icecream


1 1/2 cups dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups tofu (silken)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
pinch of salt


1. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
2. Put the silky tofu in the blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add the melted chocolate and continue mixing.
4. Add the oat milk, vanilla, and salt in order and continue mixing until you get a smooth consistency.
5. Transfer it to a closed container and leave it in the freezer for a few hours.

How to Eat Raw Tofu

Although there are many different types of tofu, including silken, extra firm, and firm, it is possible to consume any of them in their uncooked state.

It is important to remove any extra moisture from the packing of raw tofu before eating it.

In addition to this, it is essential to carefully preserve tofu so that any leftover pieces do not get contaminated with microorganisms.

The temperature range of 4–60 °C is referred to as the “danger zone” because it is the temperature range in which bacteria have the greatest chance of growing.

When you are preparing raw tofu for consumption, such as when you are crumbling it into a salad or slicing it into cubes, be sure to use equipment that has been well-cleaned and sanitized.

This will help reduce your risk of being exposed to any harmful pollutants. Having a clean cutting surface or counter is also part of this.


Consuming uncooked foods has become increasingly common in recent years. Although the consumption of uncooked food may provide some health benefits, it can increase the potential risks of bacterial growth.

Even if the tofu is not cooked, it has undergone cooking during processing. In this way, it is not riskier than any uncooked animal meat or raw salad you consume outside.

However, attention should be paid to storage conditions and it is important to keep the environment hygienic.

In addition, consumption should be carried out more carefully in groups of individuals whose immune system is suppressed and dangerous for food poisoning.

A doctor should be consulted when any side effects and poisoning symptoms are observed.

You can make various recipes with raw tofu. The most popular of these recipes are yogurt, ice cream, and smoothies. It can be consumed to diversify your diet and supplement your protein intake in a simpler, effortless way.

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