Now that we have a good recipe for tofu misozuke, it’s time to experiment! With the ecology of cheeses as inspiration and guide, we hope to drive the speciation of our delicious creamy tofu to many unoccupied niches. One of our goals was to recreate a variant we only knew from written description: a pungent, Roquefort-like kombu-wrapped miso marinated tofu. We started a pilot experiment 2 months ago and we were excited enough about the results to pursue further.
The tofu misozuke block was creamy and flavorful with an extra umami kick courtesy of the kombu. The scent of kelp was subtle but detectable, especially on the surface. We were pleasantly surprised to find that, even though we took into account the extra mass of the kelp with extra miso marinade, the kelp wrapped tofu tasted decidedly less salty than a control block. Best we can tell, the umami taste imparted by the kelp helped dial down the sensation of saltiness, even though salt content was roughly equal.
(Our minds were blown: we were used to the oft-exploited phenomenon in cooking where salt helped bring out flavor in both savory and sweet dishes. It never occurred to us that the relationship worked the other way also – that complexity of other flavors could dilute the taste of salt.)
What the kombu-wrapped tofu misozuke was not, was pungent. Hrm…
Thinking back on the text, there were at least two possible interpretations of the author’s description of the kombu-wrapped miso marinated tofu. We started a new experiment to see if the other interpretation would give us our pungency:
- We’re repeating our first kelp wrapped experiment with tofu smeared in miso marinade and wrapped in kombu (left).
- A new variation: tofu wrapped in kombu, then smeared in miso marinade.
We’ll let you know how this experiment turns out in a couple of months.