Saturday, December 8, 2012


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Homemade Vegan "Liverwurst", from my book "World Vegan Feast" ready to be served with pumpernickel bread, whole grain crackers, rye crisp, or crudites at a holiday party.
I confess that I really liked liverwurst in pre-vegan days. And, judging by the recipes and info online, I am not alone. I devised a recipe that tastes very much like it, in my opinion (and in the opinion of some real German testers), but involves no meat, is easy to make, can be frozen, and has a wonderful flavor. It makes good sandwiches, too and is great to have in the refrigerator during the summer, for a quick meal or an appetizer.

The recipe is seasoned the way I like it, but some German testers also added a bit of ground cloves and cardamom. 

Note: You will need two nonstick 5 3/4 x 3 x 21/8-inch fruitcake/mini loaf pans for this recipe. Alternatively, you can use a 8-inch round cake pan for the whole recipe.

Printable Recipe


From my book “World Vegan Feast” © Bryanna Clark Grogan
Servings: 16
Yield: Two 
5 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/8-inch loaves

With an easy addition, this can be turned into A VEGAN "braunschweiger", which is a smoked "liverwurst". If you liked braunschweiger in the past, just add a little liquid smoke (see NOTE below) to taste, starting with a 1/2 teaspoon.

Dark sesame oil for oiling the pans
1 (12.3 oz.) box extra-firm SILKEN tofu OR 12 oz. medium-firm tofu

1 medium russet potato (about 4 oz.), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch dice (no need to remove the high-fiber peel!) 
1/2 medium onion (about 2.5 oz.), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup wholewheat flour, OR stone ground cornmeal, OR soy flour, OR chickpea flour (besan)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons warm water

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon organic sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram (or 1/2 tablespoon fresh, chopped)
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
a few gratings of freshly-ground nutmeg
freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil two nonstick 5 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/8-inch fruitcake/mini loaf pans or an 8-inch round cake pan liberally with the dark sesame oil and line the bottoms with baking parchment cut to fit. Oil the parchment, too.

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender (preferably) or food processor and blend until very smooth.

Divide the mixture between the two prepared nonstick 5 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/8-inch fruitcake/mini loaf pans or 8-inch round cake pan. Smooth the tops evenly.

Cover each pan with foil (oiled on the part that will touch the liverwurst mixture). Place the pans inside of an 8 x 12-inch shallow baking pan with about 1 inch of hot water in the bottom. Bake for 1 hour.

Cool the liverwurst in the pans on a cooling rack until firmly set. Carefully loosen around the sides of the pans with a table knife and invert them onto a platter. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a week.

If you would like to freeze the liverwurst, cut them into whatever sizes are useful for you, wrap well with foil, then place in a zipper-lock bag, seal and freeze for up to three months.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving or 1/ 8th of a loaf):
61.6 calories; 39% calories from fat; 2.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 148.9mg sodium; 182.5mg potassium; 5.6g carbohydrates; 1.4g fiber; 0.9g sugar; 4.2g net carbs; 4.4g protein; 1.2 points.

Nervous about using liquid smoke? Here's some info from Cook's Illustrated magazine:

"Liquid Smoke
What is liquid smoke and how is it made? We were among the many people who assume that there must be some kind of synthetic chemical chicanery going on in the making of "liquid smoke" flavoring. But according to the Colgin Company (which has been bottling liquid smoke since the 19th century), that's not the case. Liquid smoke is made by channeling smoke from smoldering wood chips through a condenser, which quickly cools the vapors, causing them to liquefy (just like the drops that form when you breathe on a piece of cold glass). The water-soluble flavor compounds in the smoke are trapped within this liquid, while the non-soluble, carcinogenic tars and resins are removed by a series of filters, resulting in a clean, smoke-flavored liquid.

Curious about the manufacturing process for this product, we wondered if we could bottle up some smoke for ourselves. To do this, we created a small-scale mock-up of the commercial method, involving a kettle grill, a duct fan, a siphon, and an ice-chilled glass coil condenser.

In a comparison of homemade and store-bought liquid smoke, homemade was praised for its clean, intense, smoky flavor. But we spent an entire day and $50 on materials to produce 3 tablespoons of homemade liquid smoke. Commercial liquid smoke is just fine, especially if you avoid brands with additives such as salt, vinegar, and molasses. Wright's Liquid Smoke ($2.99 for 3.5 ounces) is our top-rated brand and contains nothing but smoke and water." 



Becky said...

This is one of my family's favorite recipes from the book! Even my picky kid eats it up. Yum!

Nezumi said...

I use to eat liver pâté regularly in my pre-vegan days... never thought there could be a vegan version to replace it. I will definitely try this recipe!
Is liverwurst comparable to liver pâté?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Nezumi, liver pâté is a little more refined than liverwurst and a bit stronger in flavor. There's a recipe for a very smooth vegan pâté of the sort you mean in my book "World Vegan Feast".

Nezumi said...

Really? It's about time I get your book! Thank you Bryanna.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night for my book club (we were reading The Middlesteins) and although some people were too afraid to try it, those who did helped themselves to seconds and thirds and fourths! I have never had real liverwurst but everyone said it tasted this one tasted just like the read thing!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

That makes me feel good!

lagatta à montréal said...

This sounds lovely! I have no trouble whatsoever believing it exists, on the contrary, I've eaten it in the Netherlands and Germany and am missing it greatly. I'd add the spices the Germans do, perhaps even a bit of ground caraway.

This is not German or Dutch, but you can get a nice smokey flavour from smoked paprika as well. That would make it more Hungarian, I guess...

Ernest L Sewell, IV said...

Hi there! Just a couple of questions to clarify.
1) You never mention liquid smoke in the recipe but there's something about it in the entry. Is it part of the recipe, if so how much?
2) you mention "extra firm silken" or "medium-firm". Silken & firm are quite the opposite ends of the scale. Which is preferred?
3) I'd recommend about 1 tsp salt in it. It can go "plain", depending (I made a batch yesterday).
Thanks much!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Ernest, I hope the following answers your questions.
1. The liquid smoke is mentioned in the text above-- it's used if you want to make the braunschweiger (smoked liverwurst) variation.
2. When blended, extra-firm SILKEN tofu and medium-firm tofu can be used interchangably. The extra firm silken tofu is nothing like regular extra firm tofu, which is crumbly. exta-firm silken tofu is very smooth and easily blended.
3. Of course, you're free to add salt as you wish. I'm not an anti-salt person by any means, but I found the soy sauce added enough salt.
Cheers, Bryanna

Anonymous said...

I'm making this after craving liverwurst (weird, I know) since seeing Hitchcock's Spellbound the other day. (Ingrid Bergman prefers liverwurst over ham).

I'll be adding a bit of a beet to add a pinkish hue. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Vanessa M. said...

My picky six year old ate it plain by itself and then on crackers. My omnivorous husband was also pleased with this and said it was a keeper. I've already eaten it plain, put it on a wrap and am looking forward to it on a sandwich for lunch. Wonderful flavor. I've never had liverwurst, but it does faintly remind me of when I used to eat braunschweiger. Tasty! This is a keeper!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Vanessa M., that makes me very happy!!

Unknown said...

Hi, The recipe does not say to drain the tofu...? You do, don't you?
Thanks, can't wait to make it!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Dana, just drain off what littele liquid is in the package-- no need to put in a colander or anything. I hope you like it!

judy said...

Thanks Bryanna for this wonderful recipe. i mad it to my vegan son and he loved it. For health reasons I am not supposed to eat soy products. Can you possibly suggest any alternative to tofu? Maybe chickpea tofu can substitute it?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Judy, the only thing that I can think of that might work is to use 12 oz. (weighed after thoroughly rinsing and draining) of very well-drained canned or cooked (but not mushy) white beans, such as Great Northern beans, cannellini beans, or navy beans.
I don't think that chickpea "tofu" would work well-- it's too starchy.
All the best, Bryanna

lee-n-nola said...

Making the liverwurst now. I got a laugh from the liquid smoke article.