What have I just ate? My mind told me its beef or some kind of minced meat, but it is actually made using plant proteins.
Tanuki たぬき means raccoon in Japanese. The animal has been significant in Japanese folklore since ancient times. The legendary tanuki is reputed to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting, but somewhat gullible and absentminded. That’s the spirit of the bistro.
The first time I went to Tanuki was at their Somerset branch. They have gained a reputation for really good chirashi bowls. Chirashi, also called chirashizushi (ちらし寿司) is one of my favorite Japanese meals. The word “chirashi” means “scattered,” so this is basically a big bowl of rice mixed with fish, vegetables, and additional ingredients of your choice.
Now they have opened several more branches, and the latest in Singapore’s latest crown jewel.
There’s a race to the ultimate vegan challenge – how to create meat from plants? Impossible Food has done just that. The ingredient is mainly soy leghemoglobin. What? According to their website, “Soy leghemoglobin is short for legume hemoglobin — the hemoglobin found in soy, a leguminous plant.” More confused?
Just imagine we used to make fake vegetarian meat from tofu. But they have improved the formula with the help of plant fats like coconut oil. However it’s the heme in plant protein that tricked us that we are actually eating meat. Heme is that iron-rich component of blood that invoked the carnivorous instinct in us.
The Actual Product
Impossible™ toban XO mala – Meatless Impossible Foods “meat” in house-blend toban sauce and onions with crispy shallots, house-made pickles, shio konbu and chives over steamed rice seasoned with our special blend of furikake and tare
I was actually quite skeptical when I ordered it. Thought it would be like tofu. But it turned out to taste exactly like Sichuan mapo-tofu 麻婆豆腐. The “minced meat” had that familiar texture and the whole experience was very satisfying with every mouthful. One would not have suspected that it was vegetarian.
Unfortunately, they can only produce a burger patty, so the uses are restricted to burgers and in bolognese sauce and meatball ragout. This is the first innovative use in Chinese cuisine. It would a milestone if they can produce a real piece of steak.
Mushroom miso soup – Fragrant miso soup made from Tanuki Raw’s own miso blend, mixed mushrooms, wakame, tofu, shiro negi, abura age, and daikon
So as a tribute to my first vegetarian burger, I decided to go all in by ordering the vegetarian miso soup instead of the one with clams. The circle is complete.
Tanuki is stilling through it’s testing phase for the new location in Changi Jewel, so it’s still rough at its edges. Given time, hopefully it gets better.
Tanuki Raw At Jewel
78 Airport Boulevard
05-202 Jewel Changi Airport
Date Visited : Jul 2019