Basic meat replacements, such as burgers, have become widely available. Now, attention is being turned to vegan seafood alternatives, a shift motivated by a global drive to reduce commercial fishing (and partly inspired by the Netflix documentary Seaspiracy. )
The global alternative seafood sector grew by 23 percent in 2020. It is predicted to reach $1.3 billion in the next 10 years. Restaurants and direct-to-consumer brands are both targeting the vegan seafood trend. With Veganuary well underway, popular chains have announced and reminded consumers about their seafood replacement dishes. Supermarket fridges and freezers are becoming fully stocked with animal-free ingredients as well.
Here are five vegan seafood alternatives to know, find and try:
1. Wagamama’s fish and chips
The Tempura F-ish + Bang Bang Yaki-imo is a Japanese take on traditional fish and chips. It is served on newspaper and is the latest addition to the chain’s 50 percent plant-based menu. Soy, rice, and pea protein has been used to create the ‘f-ish’ fillet, which is tempura battered (and made my OmniFoods). Firecracker sauce-coated sweet potato chunks replace standard chips. Accompaniments include mushy edamame in place of peas, katsu curry sauce, and pickles.
“We wanted to both surprise and delight our vegan fans, while also empowering our meat-loving guests to give plants a go this Veganuary” Steve Mangleshot, global head chef for Wagamama said in a statement. The dish is available for one month in all U.K. Wagamama locations.
2. Jinka’s plant-based calamari
Californian alt-seafood company Jinka just unveiled its new pre-cooked plant-based calamari. Representing a potential world’s first, the prepared product was debuted at a trade show. The tempura-battered rings are thought to be a freezer product. The company claims that they offer identical taste and texture to animal-based calamari. The product contains protein and omega-3.
Packaging displays non-GMO labelling but nothing is known yet about the ingredients. An official launch date is yet to be confirmed. When released for sale, the calamari will join Jinka’s tuna and crab product lines.
3. Good Catch’s salmon burgers
Philadelphia-headquartered Good Catch has developed and released a market-first salmon burger. It will be distributed through UNFI, one of North America’s biggest wholesale grocery operations. The creation of a salmon burger is a response to company-backed research It found that found 30 percent of American seafood consumers buy salmon every month. It is the most-eaten fish in the U.S., along with tuna.
Good Catch revealed that each burger contains 16 grams of protein and they are produced entirely within the U.S. The brand made a move into the Singapore market last year.
4. BettaF!sh’s TU-NAH pizza
Berlin-based BettaF!sh has announced its first launch of 2022. Its frozen TU-NAH pizza will be available from ALDI Germany from mid-January. The red onion, tomato, and TU-NAH dish is the latest innovation from BettaF!sh and comes after a partnership with ALDI Switzerland. All 225 stores in the country now stock three TU-NAH sandwiches.
Rollout of the grab-and-go sandwich options into Denmark is planned for Spring 2022.
5. YO! Sushi’s ongoing vegan fare
Global chain YO! Sushi hasn’t released anything new this Veganuary. It is actively reminding plant-based eaters that it has long-catered for them though. In place of traditional sashimi, nigiri, maki, and uramaki, vegan diners have options. Tofu-fuelled inari pockets and tacos are popular, as are avocado-based yasai rolls. The shitake mushroom ramen is an easy swap for traditional fish-based both. Kaiso seaweed gives a taste of the ocean and the pumpkin katsu curry rivals the traditional prawn option.
Interested parties wonder if the development of realistic vegan seafood alternatives might lead to new YO! Sushi menu developments in the near future. Other sushi companies are utilising new developments, so it does not feel like a stretch to assume the same from YO! Sushi.
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.