Vegan Foie Gras: Rau Om's Tofu Misozuke Matches Tastiness With Principles

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It smells like a Japanese restaurant, looks like a loaf of foie, and delivers a taste reminiscent of foie lathered in mayonnaise. Rau Om's Tofu Misozuke, made in Belmont, is about as close to foie gras as a vegan can ever taste without violating principle.

Tofu Misozuke uses Miso-Cured Tofu, made locally with non-GMO ingredients and cured in fermented soybean paste (miso) for a minimum of two months. The resulting block is similar in consistency to a thick chevre and eminently spreadable. Bread makes a fine companion.

The initial taste is quite similar to the dense, almost unctuous, richness of foie, but then the miso umami character quickly blossoms and the two combine in a distinctly mayonnaise-like flavor, rich with umami and tinted with a sharpness from the fermentation.

Rau Om recommends you enjoy the Japanese delicacy as you would a strong cheese: with dried fruits or preserves, paired with wine or sake, on bread or crackers, or on its own.
To us the dense and pronounced flavors need a foil, and fresh French bread seems the most promising.

If you're a vegetarian or vegan in search of a hint of how the other side lives, this is worth a try.  It's available online, and at the Sunnyvale Farmers' Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and the California Ave Farmers' Market in Palo Alto (Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), and retails for $7 a piece with a nice bamboo stand.


Contact Ben Narisin at sfoodieben@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
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After reading this article, I immediately went over to Rainbow to pickup some of this. Although it vaguely looks like fois gras, it tastes much more like a stinky creamy cheese (perhaps like a  blue cheese). It is a bit creamy, but it's nowhere near as buttery as fois gras. That being said, it is very enjoyable, but should be compared more towards stinky cheese rather than fois gras.

Linh-Dang
Linh-Dang

For all the visitors seeing this post because of the recent related foie gras posts - tofu misozuke now has a home in SF @ Rainbow Grocery in the cheese section. 

Diane Krstulovich
Diane Krstulovich

Wow...that's some SERIOUS experimenting with recipes!  Two months, really?  I didn't think tofu would last that long!

Oanh
Oanh

 Thanks, Diane. Yep, tofu by itself doesn't last long. In our recipe, tofu is covered in mis marinade. The salt in miso helps to preserve the tofu so it doesn't spoil during the long curing process.

Michael Natkin
Michael Natkin

Wow, this is fascinating! I wish there was a way to get my hands on it in Seattle.

Sfoodieben
Sfoodieben

I believe you can - there's a link labelled "online" in the last paragraph about where you can buy it over the web.

Jessica
Jessica

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Oanh
Oanh

Thank you, Ben, for a great review! We only set out to replicate a mind-blowing dish we had at a sake tasting. In the end, we are so glad we could offer something that both omnivores and vegans alike enjoy.

Sfoodieben
Sfoodieben

I should have thought to try this with Sake.  That would be a fascinating pairing.  Great idea.

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