All hail the Impossible Foods meatless vegan burger patty that bleeds! Hong Kong is fast becoming one of the most exciting plant-based dining scenes in the world – just weeks after the revolutionary JUST Scramble eggless egg debuted with a bang, and months behind the uber successful start of the Beyond Burger, award-winning food tech company Impossible Foods launches their 100% vegan burger made entirely from plants that “cooks, smells and tastes like ground beef.”
The Impossible Foods Story
Originally birthed in Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods famously burst onto the global food scene in 2016 thanks to a video of Momofuku’s Chef David Chang cooking the meatless patty that went viral. Fast forward to 2018, the startup now sees its plant patty served in over 1,400 F&B outlets across the United States with partners like White Castle, Fatburger, Umami Burger, The Counter, and Gott’s to name a few. The company, founded by Stanford University biochem professor and former pediatrician Dr. Patrick O. Brown, is committed to creating meat alternatives that taste exactly like the real thing without the disastrous environmental impact of industrial livestock farming.
What’s Impossible Made Of?
The award-winning Impossible Foods meatless patty is made from wheat protein, potato protein, coconut oil, water and secret ingredient ‘heme,’ a molecule that the company creates from soy leghemoglobin, a protein that occurs naturally in plants. The heme mimics iron and helps to create the bleeding that Impossible Foods patties have become famous for, it also makes them as craveworthy as cow meat. Beyond the patty’s taste and texture profile, Impossible Foods is proud of the product’s revolutionary eco credentials: Our first product, the Impossible Burger, as their website states, the patty “uses 75% less water, generates 87% less greenhouse gases, requires 95% less land and 100% fewer cows than a beef burger patty.”
Impossible Foods in Hong Kong
For its Hong Kong debut, Impossible foods has chosen two of the city’s leading chefs to collaborate with: Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017 May Chow of Little Bao and Happy Paradise, and Michelin-starred Uwe Opocensky, currently helming the kitchens of burger chain Beef & Libery. From tomorrow onwards, Hong Kongers will be able to taste the chefs’ Impossible creations at their respective restaurants.
Impossible Foods x Little Baos’ May Chow
At Little Bao, Chow has masterminded the Impossible Bao, a world first for sure, served with black pepper teriyaki sauce, salted lemon kombu salad and fermented tofu sauce (HKD 118). On the Happy Paradise menu, she has created the Impossible Xinjiang Hot Pocket with pickled daikon and XinJiang spices (HKD 88). The dish is served with a non-vegan egg-yolk dip but you can request a vegan version, making the dish vegan-friendly.
Editor’s Update: We have confirmed with Little Bao & Impossible Foods that the bao is completely plant-based despite reports to the contrary. We have also confirmed that the Hot Pocket is plant-based and can be served without the egg yolk dip listed on the restaurant menu.
Impossible Foods x Beef & Liberty’s Uwe Opocensky
June 18 Update: Beef & Liberty has updated their Impossible Thai Burger with a vegan sweet potato bun and a vegan version of the soy mayonnaise so their Impossible Burger version is now 100% vegan-friendly. More info here.
Over at Beef & Liberty, Opencensky has thought up the Impossible Thai Burger served with chilli, coriander, mint, basil, spring onion, soya mayonnaise, crispy shallots and garlic (HKD 135) – which you complement with the Impossible Chili Cheese Fries, their Liberty fries topped with Impossible chili, cheddar cheese, spring onion and sour cream (HKD 62). The dishes will be on the menu at all Hong Kong locations (except the airport).
Editor’s Update: After more review, we sincerely regret that we mistakenly said the Beef & Liberty Hong Kong Impossible Thai Burger was vegan, it is not: the bun and soy mayonnaise are NOT vegan. At the shops, you can request to eat the Impossible patty with salad (no bun, no mayonnaise) for a vegan option and the chili fries can be ordered without cheese and without sour cream. We sincerely apologise for this misinformation.
All the dishes have a distinctly Asian twist, culinary worlds away from how the Impossible Foods patties are served in the US. As Impossible Foods founder & CEO Pat O. Brown echoes: “We’re confident that Hong Kong — Asia’s crossroads of ideas and influences, both modern and traditional — will be home to the most innovative Impossible recipes yet.”
What’s Next For Impossible Foods
Fresh off their record-breaking founding round- Impossible Foods’s investor list includes Google Ventures, Bill Gates, Singapore’s Temasek, Hong Kong’s Horizons Ventures & UBS among others and they recently raised USD 114 million- the company is looking to new pastures (!), with launches planned in several international markets throughout 2018. Impossibe’s R&D team is also working on plant-based seafood & dairy alternatives that they are confident will be just as groundbreaking. Stay tuned!
Where To Find Impossible in Hong Kong
Little Bao: 66 Staunton Street, Soho, Central, +852 2194 0202
Happy Paradise: U/G F, 26-62 Staunton Street, Soho, +852 2816 2118
Beef & Liberty Lan Kwai Fong: 3/F California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central District, +852 2450 5778
Beef & Libery Stanley: G04, G/F, 23 Carmel Road Stanley Plaza, Stanley, +852 256 32798
Beef & Liberty at Hong Kong International Airport: COMING SOON June 15 2018 Update: the Impossible Thai burger is now available at the airport location from breakfast onwards.
Unit 7E138, Departures East Hall, Terminal 1 , Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau, +852 2450 5778
All images courtesy of Impossible Foods & Stir Publications Hong Kong.