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May29

Memorial weekend BBQ

Select photos from the dishes we brought to a BBQ this weekend. Vegan dishes were first to go on the grill:

  • Squash blossoms stuffed with coconut flesh smeared with miso-sake-mirin sauce
  • Miso-glazed tofu
  • Vegan burgers: edamame, chickpeas, olive oil, shiitake and tree oyster mushrooms

Squash blossoms, coconut misozuke

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Apr05

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