Whether you abstain from meat and seafood for environmental, ethical, or dietary reasons, we know that it can be hard to be left out from delicious seafood dinners.
But hey, don’t worry! There is a growing demand for plant-based replicas, especially when it comes to shrimp. There are many alternatives to animal products, and we can expect to see even more products entering the market as we speak.
So what is the best vegan shrimp on the market? What is vegan shrimp made of? And how can you choose the best vegan shrimp for your next meal?
We’ve put together a brief guide to answer all of your questions! Fasten your seatbelts as we embark on a journey to explore the answers.
Want to know more about the Benefits of Vegan Lifestyle? Read it here.
What Is Vegan Shrimp Made Of?
Let’s begin by saying that regular shrimp are problematic for the environment: farming these animals causes a number of complications, such as mangrove forests cleared to make space, chemicals used to prepared the water, and the pesticides and antibiotics fed to the shrimp.
Wild shrimp can’t be considered a better option, because it usually requires the use of deep-sea trawlers, which can kill up to 20 pounds of unwanted species of fish accidentally fished with the nets for every pound of shrimp.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should really consider stop eating shrimp.
Seafood, and shrimp, in particular, has such a specific taste, texture, and smell that you might be skeptical about a substitute for your vegan recipes.
This is where vegan shrimp comes in: the specific ingredients really depend on the brand, but the majority of shrimp vegan products are in no way inferior to the regular ones, both for taste and texture.
Many vegan shrimps are made of Konjac root, with the addition of starch, spices, and paprika for color: Konjac root is an East Asian root vegetable known for its starchy corm that grows underground.
There are also vegan shrimps made from plant proteins and sustainable seaweed, with all the essential amino acids that are found in meat and seafood.
There is always the possibility to make your own DIY vegan shrimp at home: there are a lot of recipes that usually require the use of king oyster mushroom stems. Keep in mind that the taste won’t be exactly similar, but the texture is still pretty good!
The 5 Best Vegan Shrimp
1. Vegan ZeaStar
Vegan Zeastar is a brand that revolves around unique and revolutionary plant-based seafood, with realistic and ocean-friendly products that taste as close as possible to their regular counterparts.
They offer vegan tuna, vegan salmon, vegan calamari, and two different vegan shrimp products: lemon shrimpz and regular shrimpz.
They’re both mainly made from water, potato starch, bread crumbs, soybean oil, kelp extract, and konjac powder, but the lemon shrimpz are also breaded in a lemon crumb, to give them a light fish taste.
You can easily add this soy shrimp vegan to pasta, soups, or sandwiches, and the best part is that it looks really similar to regular shrimp.
2. Plant-Based Seafood Co.
Plant-Based Seafood Co. is an all-female, family-owned company striving to create healthy and delicious vegan seafood experiences, as close as possible to the real thing without the unacceptable practices in the seafood industry.
They offer plant-based scallops, plant-based crab cakes, and three different vegan shrimp products: crunchy coconut shrimp, dusted shrimp, and regular plant-based shrimp.
Their coconut shrimps are hand-battered with a coating made without soy, gluten, and dairy ingredients, with unrefined and unsweetened coconut shreds. The dusted shrimps are coated with gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free coastal breading.
All their shrimps are made with Konjac powder, vegetable gum and root starch, paprika, and plant-based vegan seasoning. They all come packaged in a resealable bag, so you can store them in the freezer for later use.
3. New Wave Foods
New Wave Foods is a California-based startup, known for its plant-based shrimp made from algae and other plants with an environmentally friendly and sustainable process.
Their shrimp is plant-based, sustainable, vegetarian, and kosher: it contains zero cholesterol and it’s made from a blend of seaweed, plant protein, and other plant-based ingredients.
The seaweed used is sustainably sourced and farmed with a positive environmental impact. Mung beans, high in nutrients and antioxidants, are the core source of plant protein, and they’re also sustainably sourced.
New Wave Shrimp performs well when under heat for 3-4 minutes, so the best ways to cook this shrimp are to deep fry, simmer it in sauces, grill it on a medium setting, or sear it in a pan on a medium-high flame.
4. Loving Hut
Loving Hut is a chain of vegan restaurants that strives to serve delicious, 100% plant-based meals using only natural and healthy ingredients. They’re known for the delicious vegan shrimp they serve and, luckily for you, these vegan shrimps are also available for sale!
Their shrimp is made with non-GMO ingredients: Konjac powder, non-bone char brown sugar, mushroom extract, sea salt, soy protein, marine flavor seasoning, spices, and paprika for color.
You can use these vegan shrimp in any recipe that calls for regular shrimps: they’re perfect for stir-fry, pasta, salads, and tacos. You can also easily bread and deep-fry them.
BeLeaf is a corporation committed to producing vegan products that contain no animal ingredients, no eggs, no milk, and no preservatives. Its mission is to provide healthy plant-based food for a vegan diet and lifestyle.
They offer a great number of meatless products, but their vegan shrimps look and taste just like the real ones. The texture is really the same as real shrimp, and you can easily add these shrimps to any kind of recipe you’d like to recreate.
BeLeaf shrimps are made with Konjac powder, vegetable root starch, paprika, sea salt, and plant-based seasoning, and they can be pan-fried, stir-fried, deep-fried, or grilled.
They’re already fully cooked, so you simply have to reheat them, add them to your dish, and enjoy a delicious meal!
These are just a few of the best vegan shrimp available on the market, so the good news is that you can definitely find something that works for all your vegan recipes.
Seafood can be difficult to veganize, but there are a few companies that are betting on new technologies and that are doing great work in creating new options for all the vegans out there.
And if you don’t like any of these options, you can always try to make your own DIY vegan shrimp at home!