There is a vegan tuna that mimics real tuna so closely that it tastes, chews, and looks just like the real fish. The recipe devised by a chef for this fake tuna uses Roma tomatoes and umami-rich ingredients like soy sauce and sesame oil, and is the world’s first alternative solution to raw tuna.
The faux tuna, called Ahimi, was developed by NYC-based company Ocean Hugger Foods and is apparently so similar to the real thing that it can be used as sashimi, wrapped in rolls, in tuna salads, ceviche and poke - basically any recipe where real tuna is used.
Founder and chef Chris Corwell had been working for years on finding vegetarian and vegan alternatives whilst working in the industry and after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015 was finally able to launch the faux fish on the market.
Ocean Hugger Foods is one of the many startups in the recent years that is taking on vegan seafood, which according to some is big business in food sales in the U.S. With Ahimi vegan tuna all over Whole Foods supermarkets in the States, the company is currently working on their next faux fish - vegan eel. Called Unami, the vegan eel alternative is made from eggplant and supposedly mimics the meaty texture of real eel.
Vegan fish is not the only food that’s had a meat-free makeover and the market is on the up for vegetarian or vegan-based alternatives: according to a Nielson survey in 2017, 39% of U.S. consumers say they are "actively trying to incorporate more plant-based food into their diets."
Last year even David Chang endorsed a fake meat - his Impossible Burger which features on the menu of his Momofuku Nishi restaurant uses Beyond Burger’s ’bleeding’ meat-free vegan patty.
Meat-free meat, fish-free sashimi - what will be next?