Tofu misozuke is an easy way to ferment blocks of tofu. The result is a flavourful cream cheese-like spread that is perfect for serving with crackers. It can also be used as a protein-packed flavour addition to soups and stews. See the section below for a few more serving suggestions.
How to enjoy tofu misozuke
The first time I made tofu misozuke I was so surprised. The firm block of tofu had turned into an incredibly flavourful paste. After experimenting a bit I realized that the consistency of the tofu depended on how long it fermented. Tofu that was left for less than a week was still quite firm. After that, it slowly becomes softer and creamier.
Here are a few ways that we enjoy tofu misozuke.
- Appetizer: In the first 7 days it can be served in slices or cubes. Perfect as an appetizer or snack.
- Cheese-Like Spread: Often touted as a vegan cream-cheese alternative, after 1 month of fermenting it makes a flavourful spread for crackers or sandwiches.
- Dip: Personally, my favourite way to serve it is as a dip for vegetables. Something about the salty creaminess is just perfect with a crisp slice of cucumber or radish.
- Flavouring: Well-fermented tofu misozuke is a great way to add flavour to Asian soups, noodle bowls and stir-fries. It’s not a great alternative to miso… since it’s much less salty. Instead, I use it as a replacement for things like fish sauce and other fermented sauces. Of course, the flavour isn’t exactly the same… but it is delicious! And since my husband has a pretty serious shellfish allergy, I’m happy for a safe alternative.
Finding Live Miso
The only trick to making misozuke is to use unpasteurized, cultured miso. Anything that’s in shelf-stable packaging is not “live”. Here are a few tricks to finding live miso.
- You can find fresh miso in some major grocery stores and specialty Asian food grocers. Look for the live miso in the refrigerator section.
- Unpasteurized miso is also available online (affiliate link).
- Alternatively, it’s pretty easy to make miso at home. While it takes 3 months to a year to finish fermenting, it’s really reliable, which means it’s actually an easy ferment for beginners.
Tofu misozuke is a flavourful and delicious spread or dip. A perfect vegan cheese alternative or a protein-rich flavour enhancer. See the section above for more serving suggestions.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Yield: Serves 8 to 10 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermenting
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 block of firm tofu (16 oz / 450 g)
- 1 cup of unpasteurized miso (see above for details on how to find live miso)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp raw sugar
- Press the tofu for about two hours. I do this by wrapping the tofu in a non-fluffy tea towel then putting it on a plate (to catch the liquid). I press with my heavy butcher block cutting board, with my cast iron dutch oven on top of it as a weight.
- The tofu needs to be fermented in an airtight container that is just slightly larger than the tofu. See the notes for some suggestions.
- Mix the miso, vinegar and sugar in the fermentation container. Coat the tofu in miso paste. The whole block needs to be coated in miso to ferment properly. You can cut the tofu to make it all fit in the container, but I recommend leaving it whole, if possible, because it’s easier to scrape the miso off of a single block of tofu.
- Put the lid on the container and write the date on a sticky note (so you don’t forget)! Stash it in the back of the fridge for at least 1 week and up to 3 months. It packs quite a bit of flavour so I usually just use a little bit at a time and leave the rest to keep fermenting.
- You may get a bit of white mold forming on the surface of the miso. That’s just the koji mold. Feel free to scrape it off and keep fermenting.
- It’s important to use sulfite-free tofu otherwise the preservatives will slow or prevent the fermentation. I buy tofu from a local producer. You could also try making your own.
- If the tofu came in a plastic container, you could use that for fermenting. Just put the whole container in a ziptop bag to seal the ferment. Personally, I use a glass storage container with a tight-fitting plastic lid for misozuke.
- The miso mixture can be reused to make 2-3 batches of tofu misozuke. After that, I use the miso mixture for a hearty miso soup.
Keywords: gluten-free, soy, tofu, dairy-free, cheese, spread, dip, sauce, fermented, simple, probiotic, healthy, protein-rich