From Australia and Thailand to the Netherlands and the US, it’s easier than ever to find plant-based, overfishing-free alternatives to shrimp. You can make your own vegan shrimp cocktail, grits with shrimp or even ceviche – the world’s your, well, crustacean. Here are the best brands selling vegan shrimp.
I’ve never eaten meat or seafood, but I love a good vegan shrimp. I think it’s the texture that does it for me. The last time I had it, it was at a Thai restaurant in the US that made me an ultra-spicy noodle dish – I didn’t know there’s an unofficial spice scale in many American restaurants, and me being me, I went for level 10. It was the shrimp that saved me.
Plant-based shrimp is great – the texture is succulent and satisfying, and there’s a hint of the sea in the flavour (thank you, algae). Why stop with over-spicy noodles? Gather some ketchup and mayo, and make your very own vegan shrimp cocktail. While you’re at it, turn up the fryer (or air-fryer, whatever floats your shrimp), get some hot sauce and mustard, and complement your cocktail with some plant-based po’ boys.
Here are the best vegan shrimp brands you can try:
Vegan Zeastar is one of four brands under the umbrella of Dutch plant-based company Vegan Finest Foods. It has an extensive vegan seafood range, including crab, tuna, salmon, cod, calamari and shrimp.
The shrimp line itself contains three varieties. There’s the plain version, but then there’s also crispy chilli and lemon flavours, which are coated with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture. The plain uses a combination of potato starch and kelp extract for texture and flavour, alongside sugar, salt, wheat fibre, and gelling agents. The protein comes through non-GMO soy protein powder.
The crispy shrimps take this base and add a breadcrumb coating that contains coconut oil, soybean powder, yeast extract, and beta-carotene, among other ingredients.
You can find Vegan Zeastar’s shrimp at online shops and independent stores across Europe.
Thai seafood giant Thai Union has a host of brands under its wing, and in 2021, it launched OMG Meat, a company specialising in vegan meat alternative SKUs. These include shumai dumplings with crab, crab patties, chicken and fish nuggets, BBQ pork buns, and hoy jor (crab and pork) alternatives.
It also makes shrimp dumplings, developed at its Global Innovation Centre. “We have had consumers come to us and say: ‘I know you are an expert in seafood and shrimp – I would like to have a shrimp tempura, but not containing shrimp,’” explained Thai Union’s innovation director Tunyawat Kasemsuwan.
The dumplings are filled with 68% of the plant-based shrimp, which is made from coconut oil, sugar, salt, gelling agents, and stabilisers. It’s combined with wonton wrappers, sesame and canola oil, flavourings, colours, thickeners and an acidity regulator.
You can find Thai Union’s OMG Meat vegan shrimp dumplings in stores across Thailand.
Lily’s Vegan Pantry
It began as May Way Vegetarian Kitchen in New York’s famous Chinatown in 1995 – now, it’s called Lily’s Vegan Pantry, in honour of owner Lily Ng. “We are committed to raising awareness about the physical and environmental benefits of consuming a cruelty-free diet,” she told Green Queen last year.
The Manhattan store has a mind-bending list of alt-meat products – it’s not just seafood, there’s also poultry, pork and lamb, among others. In its seafood range, it has three shrimp offerings. The original is the Vegan Red Spot Shrimp, which contains konjac powder, beta-glucan, potato starch, carrageenan, alginate, calcium hydroxide, and seasonings.
Then there are the plant-based shrimp rolls, containing a base of konjac powder and potato starch, mixed with vegetables, flavourings, and tofu skin. Lily’s Vegan Pantry also makes shrimp balls, which replace the konjac with yam flour. The other ingredients? Water, salt, calcium hydroxide and seasonings.
You can find Lily’s Vegan Pantry’s shrimp products online and at its Manhattan site.
All Vegetarian Inc
At the opposite coast is another small business making a plethora of plant-based meat alternatives: vegan bacon, turkey roasts, chicken breasts, drumsticks, tuna, jerky – you name it, and All Vegetarian Inc probably makes it.
You can purchase its vegan shrimp in wholesale-size packs of six, 12 or 20. Each bag contains about 18 shrimps for you to enjoy, and these are made with unspecified modified starch, sunflower oil, glucomannan, pea extract, sea salt, seaweed extract and brown sugar. It also sells vegan shrimp balls on wholesale orders.
You can find All Vegetarian Inc’s vegan shrimp online.
Singaporean plant-based meat brand HAPPIEE! – a subsidiary of Growthwell Foods – has been making fish and chicken alternatives for its home market. But last month, it launched into the UK retail market with a range of vegan seafood (both frozen and chilled) and meat alternatives.
The seafood range includes plant-based versions of squid and calamari, as well as shrimp and breaded shrimp. The base for the vegan shrimp is potato and wheat starch, which is combined with sunflower oil, modified tapioca starch, methylcellulose, konjac flour, hydrolysed wheat protein, anti-caking and raising agents, seasonings, and paprika extract for colour.
For the breaded shrimp, HAPPIEE! takes this base and coats it in a mixture of wheat, rye and rice flour, water, cornflakes, rapeseed oil and seasonings.
You can buy HAPPIEE!’s vegan shrimp products at online retailer Ocado, and at Tesco stores across the UK.
Plant-Based Seafood Co.
US producer Plant-Based Seafood Co.‘s product range is pretty self-explanatory. Its Mind Blown range has dusted scallops, crab cakes and two kinds of shrimp alternatives.
The dusted shrimp is made from konjac powder, vegetable gum, root starch, and seasonings, with the breading comprising brown rice, whole algae protein, and pea protein. In fact, it is breading itself is gluten-free, a combination of rice flour, potato starch, pea fibre, tapioca starch and xanthan gum – plus additional seasonings.
The vegan coconut shrimp, meanwhile, combines the base with the gluten-free flour breading, which is complemented with coconut sugar and baking powder.
Bonus: Boldly Foods
Across the Pacific, Australia’s Boldly Foods has caused a stir since it announced its launch in January this year. Its extensive frozen vegan seafood lineup uses a base of konjac root, and includes the usual salmon, tuna and calamari rings, as well as the more uncommon whitefish, crab sticks, jumbo prawns and calamari steaks.
It also has two plant-based shrimp SKUs: baby shrimp and shrimp balls. Both contain a blend of konjac root, tapioca, wheat and potato starches, sunflower oil, salt and sugar, with 2% or less of malto0dextrin, hydrolysed wheat protein, palm oil, yeast, cabbage and paprika extracts and calcium carbonate. (The baby shrimp also contains extra natural flavourings.)
You can find Boldly’s vegan shrimp alternatives in US foodservice soon.
The post Plant-Based Seafood: The 7 Best Vegan Shrimp Brands Making Your Po’ Boy Dreams Come True appeared first on Green Queen.vegan meat meat alternative meat chicken fish salmon poultry seafood pork lamb shrimp soy protein plant-based plant based alternative alt