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Tofu-misozuke: time course experiment + a squash blossom dish

We fell in love with tofu misozuke at our first taste of 6-month aged tofu. So far, none of our tofu-misozuke has lasted that long, either due to failure or over-consumption of successful batches. This experiment is designed to ensure at least 1 block will make it to 6 months. Plus, it’ll allow us to keep track of the changes beyond the 2-month mark, which we know so far is the minimum required for a firm block of tofu to become creamy.

tofu-misozuke: time course experiment

The above 2 Pyrex containers hold 4 blocks of tofu. Each block is wrapped in 2 layers of cheesecloth and covered in the same miso mix. They’ll be unwrapped at 3, 4, 5 and 6 months (1 at each milestone). I cut the amount of miso used in half, in an effort to cut down on the saltiness of the finished product. Let’s hope it’ll work.

Another reason we are running this time course experiment is that even though our first batch was creamy and incredibly tasty at 2-month mark, it became slightly bitter a month later (3 months). We couldn’t think of explanations for this development, so we want to see if this is reproducible.

Not pictured is another Pyrex container holding 2 soft blocks of tofu, similarly wrapped in cheese cloth and covered in miso. These soft blocks will be incubated for 1 and 2 months. From our previous batch, we know that soft tofu became creamy starting at 2 weeks (the core was still not creamy enough in such a short time, though. The whole block needed at least 3 weeks), so we won’t need to run this part of the experiment much longer than that. Plus, a shorter incubation period is probably better for soft tofu to preserve the fresh and light taste (similar to fresh cheese).

That’s the experiment I just set up this morning. In summary, I’ll have 1 block of tofu to enjoy every month (starting with soft tofu) 🙂 and will report how the taste changes with time.

A side note: the Mountain View farmers’ market is starting to have these fresh and incredibly inviting squash blossoms. I couldn’t help myself and had to buy a box last Sunday. After thinking through different possibilities, I was compelled 🙂 to create this dish: marinated thinly sliced beef with a few drops of yuzu, wrapped each slice around a cube of tofu misozuke (some slices had tofu misozuke smeared on) and stuffed each slice in a squash blossom.

tofu-misozuke wrapped in yuzu-marinated beef stuffed in squash blossoms

Here’s a whole plate, before going into the oven (some torn blossoms were wrapped in beef slices instead). I had more flowers than originally thought, so there was a mix of different types in this plate:

– squash blossoms stuffed with tofu-misozuke cube wrapped in yuzu-marinated beef

– squash blossoms stuffed with yuzu-marinated beef smeared with tofu misozuke

– squash blossoms stuffed with tofu-misozuke wrapped in beef

– squash blossoms stuffed with beef

– squash blossoms wrapped in beef slices

squash blossoms - before broiling

In the end, I definitely loved the first combination the best. The combination of tastes and textures in each bite was amazing: the sweetness of squash blossom was followed by the refreshingly light taste of yuzu combined with the soft texture and savoriness of beef, which was then followed by a burst of the creamy tofu-misozuke center. The bite ends with the mingling of yuzu and miso flavors, which was a good combination as long as the amount of yuzu used was small.

broiled squash blossoms


  1. These pictures and dish are… yum. They are killing me, especially at the end of a long work day too.

    I didn’t hear about the cheesecloth before. Do you wrap the tofu in cheesecloth first, then the mix is outside, or the other way around? How does the cloth help?

    • Hehehe…sorry for creating temptation. I did feel slightly guilty for having such a great dish all to myself for dinner last night 😛

      Yeah, cheesecloth is a new addition. Remember we mentioned that our quest for the perfect tofu misozuke included reading an 18th century Japanese recipe? There’s a mention of using Mino (porous) paper in the recipe. I don’t know and can’t get Mino paper, so decided to use 2 layers of cheesecloth. I wrapped the tofu in cheesecloth, then applied then miso mix on the outside (you only see miso in the photo). Cheesecloth probably will help with taking the miso off of the tofu at the end, once the tofu has become so creamy and difficult to handle.

  2. I just learned too that squash blossoms are extremely ‘elitist’. The reason is that they are very quickly perishable and thus only available for farmers and through farmers’ market. There’s no farmers’ market here for a while more… I guess I won’t ever get to eat them while in Boston.

    They look beautiful too. Such arts on the plate. You should add this to your ‘seasonal’ menu!

    • Elitist, huh…you mean like arugula? 😛

      Yes, of course it’s on our seasonal menu. More reason to fly out to the Bay Area to visit us, no?

      I can’t wait until this weekend to play with squash blossoms some more.

    • It’sweird that “only available for farmers” = elitist. Has the farmer’s lot improved that much?

      I’m trying to grow some squashes just for the blossoms – maybe you can too?

  3. I think it’s almost squash blossoms season here. Haven’t seen them at the markets yet.
    We’re getting lots of spinach, young garlic will soon follow if I remember correctly, and
    the berries madness!!

    I haven’t tried cooking with squash blossoms, partly because I don’t know what to do
    with them. Maybe I’ll give them a try this season!! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Squash blossom also makes for a very nice, simple soup (canh) – just add sliced pork and chicken broth or kombu to make your soup broth.

      • I brought up squash blossoms at lunch today and the French at the table suggested two popular ways of cooking them: deep fried and stuffed with (blank). I didn’t get what it was but someone
        promised to bring in a box of (blank) some day so I could try it. Deep-fried battered blossoms sounds good.

        • Yep, deep frying is the most common cooking method for squash blossoms. I personally don’t like it so much, because I think a lot of the blossom flavor is lost during the frying process. But it’s just a personal preference. I can’t wait to learn what (blank) was :)…Squash blossoms stuffed with foie gras were very yummy, too! Thanks, Ngan, for your care package!

          • Mystery solved! My co-worker gave me a small can of “La Brandade de Morue” yesterday, some kind of fishy paste I think. So if I’ve understood him correctly, this stuff goes well with squash blossoms. Stuffed and then baked I think. Will let you know how it turns out. Can’t wait to try your homemade nem and tofu misozuke!!

          • Hah, interesting! Do let me know how it turns out 🙂


  1. […] have a recipe we’re absolutely happy with yet (and hence the several tofu misozuke experiments we have run and are setting up). On the third hand, things do not go awry often enough that we can […]

  2. […] Flavor combination worked well, but we still preferred the textural contrast provided by tofu misozuke in our previous iteration. […]

  3. […] Our love affair with squash blossoms continues. We ran to the farmers’ market first ting in the morning to get our pick of the freshest and plumpest blossoms. This flavor combination worked well, but we still preferred the textural contrast provided by tofu misozuke in our previous iteration. […]