Friday, April 27, 2007

Pickled Protein

There's probably another word for this old recipe but since I heard about it on The Signal podcast I don't have much else to go by. The Signal is a Firefly/Serenity, one of my favorite tv shows/movies, podcast. Other Firefly fans, Browncoats, got together to make a cookbook based on the theme of the show: Big Damn Chefs, and gave the proceeds to charity.

The podcast has been reviewing recipes within the cook book. The directions for this one seemed simple enough:
Cover some tofu with miso paste.
Let it sit on the counter a few days with a damp cloth over it.
Serve with crackers as an ageed cheese.

The reviewer thought this was a much better alternative to the vegan cheeses of the world, so I gave it a shot.
I took 1/2 block of tofu, cut it in half and coated each one with red miso. Set it on the counter for two days with a plate under it and a damp cloth over it.
The miso is supposed to take out the water from the tofu while the tofu absorbs the miso flavor.

Here's what it looked like day two:I tasted the miso and it was flavorless. I wanted to know more about this old recipe, but since I didn't know the name I didn't know what to search for. Do you know about this recipe?

This is what it looked like at day 3:
I cut it open and it did taste like miso on the inside, a lighter miso. Maybe I should have coated it thicker with miso? I don't know. It is a bit creamy on the inside and I do eat it as a spread but it's not something I am really thrilled about. I just feel I've done something wrong. Got any ideas?


Addy N. said...

That sounds interesting, but I'm so paranoid about food spoilage that I wouldn't be able to bring myself to eat it after it sat out! I'll be interested if you learn more about it.

laura jesser said...

Hmm, I've never heard of this but I would be interested. If you do find out, or you try again with better results, let us know!

Emilie said...

I do something sort of like this, but I mix miso with white wine to get a sort of thick marinade. The I wrap the tofu in cheesecloth before setting it in the mixture and put it in the fridge, turning it to coat whenever I remember and leaving it for a few days. I like the results a lot. Maybe the wine makes all the difference? I also thinner slices...

Hayley said...

Maybe use a softer tofu? I to would be hesitant to eat something left out for days... but I think I might try something like it but in the fridge.

Webly said...

Addy- I'm also concerned about food spoilage. I usually can't eat food that's left over from a night before. It must be that since miso is also a fermented food that it doesn't lead to spoilage. The weird thing was that when I put it in the fridge it got moldy!

Emilie - It would help to make a thick marinade. I have some mirin I could try that with next time. What is the texture you get with yours?

Hayley- It was weird that when I put it in the fridge it spoiled!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I've heard of it too, and liked my results quite a bit - here's the link I used:

I mash mine up and add herbs and garlic afterwards...

I don't think you did anything wrong other than maybe not spread the miso thick enough or not use a strong enough flavored miso?

The tofu ferments, just like the miso and doesn't spoil! You can leave miso out and it's just fine, the tofu absorbs the miso and so it's a fermented product - sortof - too.

Besides, any mold it got wouldn't be harmful or anything anyway - how do we think real dairy cheese is made?

If yours molded in the fridge it was because it got other bacteria on it like when it was cut open or something - keep it covered or wrapped in very clean (boiled) cheesecloth and it's fine...