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Sam Mogannam Is Obsessed With Yuba

Sam Mogannam could be considered the mayor of 18th Street. His family-owned market, Bi-Rite, has been operating since 1964, providing staples and fancy comestibles to Mission locals. Down the street, his scoop shop, Bi-Rite Creamery, has a devoted following. But it’s not all imported wine, cheese and ice cream for Sam—he also craves yuba.

“My major food obsession of the past year has been tofu skins, also called yuba, which form on top of soy milk during production. You can buy them retail at the Hodo Soy stand at the Ferry Building Farmers Market, but my favorite place to eat them is at Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant at 12th and Kirkham in the Inner Sunset–it’s a cheap dive of sorts, but the food is so sophisticated and extraordinary. The restaurant is Buddhist, so they don’t use garlic or onions in any of the preparations, but they work magic with tofu and gluten. They have several dishes that are awesome: marinated tofu skins, tofu skins stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms, shredded tofu skins with “ham”—a vegetarian product made from gluten that tastes amazingly like ham. I am always blown away by the textures and flavors they are able to illicit from very simple ingredients. I’ve had tofu skins at other Chinese restaurants, but I have never had them as good or as creative as at Enjoy … they’re a favorite of my 5 year old daughter and wife, too.”

Hodo Soy Beanery, available at the Ferry Building Marketplace each Tuesday and Saturday
Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant, 754 Kirkham St., 415-682-0826

Check out our other gallery of Obsessed Food people here.