Goji Berry, Wild Trees, and Tofu Misozuke

Six-month-old rooibos kombu tofu misozuke: whoof that was strong! I think at this stage it should be called “sake camembert”. You have to dig deep (let the cheese linger on the tongue for 5 seconds) to taste the rooibos kombu(*), but it’s there, and it’s amazing.

Paired with goji berry tea: again, leave the misozuke on the tongue, then take a sip of goji berry. The berry reveals the rooibos, dilutes the bitterness of sake and the saltiness of miso, and leaves a sweet aftertaste. However, my conscience says something is off. A good match should rid this aged tofu of its pungency altogether and brighten its complexity.

At first, I thought that a light green oolong, something flowery, would go well with it, but I didn’t have any green oolong at home (on my way to buy some Buddha’s Hand soon), so I tried the Wild Trees instead. Now this oolong is crazy sweet but it accompanied a mooncake well (sweet on sweet!), it’s an easy-going tea (takes little effort to make), and it’s direct enough to not be overwhelmed by the aged tofu.

And yep. 😀 Tofu misozuke and sweet oolong are meant to be. The Wild Trees does everything I wanted it to, and the tofu misozuke, again, with its saltiness, brings out the depth of the tea.

– A green oolong like Baochong or Buddha’s Hand would be too weak for an umami flavor of this magnitude.
– Both the goji berry and the Wild Trees are sweet, but they’re different kinds of sweet: goji berry is grass sweet, and Wild Trees is cinnamon roll sweet.
– Paired with food, real teas (Camelia sinensis) change tastes more vigorously and less predictably than herbal teas.
– The normal tofu misozuke fares beaufifully with genmaicha, but that was a 2-monhth-old instead of 6-month-old tofu, so I can’t tell which one matches better, genmaicha or Wild Trees… Hmm experiment experiment…
– (*) UPDATE: I must have misheard Oanh when she said “kombu” and I registered “rooibos”. This just goes to show that what little information you have a priori affects how you perceive the taste.)

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