Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 18th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Accidental Tourists

din hotplateMix together one part doctorate in cancer biology, one part high-tech strategist and two parts foodie, and, serendipitously, you get tofu misozuke, an ancient Japanese fermented tofu which is traditionally enjoyed in small tastes with a glass of sake.

The husband and wife team of Dang Vu and Oanh Nguyen developed their passion for food from the traditional dishes prepared by their families. Their company, Rau Om, is named for an herb that grows in Southeast Asian rice paddies and is used in their Vietnamese cuisine.

The bay area couple stumbled upon this ancient delicacy and brought it to life through research, trial and error, and dogged determination.

A few years ago, when lost in Tokyo, they happened into a sake bar and fell in love with this tofu; as creamy as well-ripened brie, and as salty as blue cheese. Stateside it was nowhere to be found, and they learned that this product of the Fukuoa District on the southern island of Kyoshu was scarce even in Japan.

They came across an 18th century recipe which needed translation into modern Japanese, and then English.  On the web, they found two scientific papers, written by researchers at Fukuoka Women's University, and University of Tokyo, that explained the microbiology of the fermentation process, which is the trickiest to master.

Tofu is made from the milk of dried and soaked soybeans, to which a coagulating agent is added. Miso is made by fermenting grain and or rice with salt and fungus. When a block of tofu is covered with miso, a protease from the fungus causes changes in the flavor and structure of the tofu.

Rau Om's tofu misozuke is now available in the cheese section at New Leaf Markets. | KP


Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Sara H, May 10, 2012
Thank you for letting us know of this new/old tofu and RauOm that brought it to us. Hopefully a market in Monterey will carry it. I am on my way to Santa Cruz! Will there be a rauram product next?

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >


Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.


Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?