While cruising around the Sunnyvale farmers market, I came across Rau Om, makers of tofu misozuke (miso cured tofu). It’s been described as either a vegan foie gras or a creamy vegan cheese. It’s actually a traditional Japanese cured tofu that dates back to at least the 18th century.
Having never tried foie gras before, I can’t comment on that part. It’s also unlike any cheese I ever had, although I never was much of a cheese connoisseur.
But it is creamy, rich with an intense flavor and savory with umami galore. For me, it’s more reminiscent of Chinese fermented bean curd but without its pungent aroma and you can eat the tofu misozuke plain all by itself. Whereas, you can’t really do that with the Chinese fermented tofu.
You could cook with tofu misozuke, but at 7 bucks for a small block (2.5 oz.), I prefer to enjoy it as is – smeared on a slice of crusty bread. It seems a bit pricey for what you get but it is after all handmade and aged for two months, not unlike fine cheese.
Rau Om has since added a new flavor – kombu (seaweed) aged tofu misozuke, which I liked better than the original. It seemed a lot less like fermented tofu. Aged a bit longer and all wrapped up in kombu, it has more depth and complexity for just 50 cents more ($7.50 for a 2.5 oz. block).
Currently available in-person at the California Avenue Palo Alto farmers market or online. You can also try your hand at making it yourself, the nice people at Rau Om have made the recipe open source, which is so cool. Another thing to add to the bucket list of must-try-recipes.