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A shoutout to all the vegan seafood lovers — did you know that you can enjoy all your old favorite shrimp dishes without a guilty conscience? You can fall in love with seafood all over again, thanks to plant-based vegan shrimps! However, what is the best brands to consider when buying vegan-friendly shrimp?
The best vegan-friendly shrimp to purchase includes plant-based shrimp sold by All Vegetarian Inc, Sophie’s Kitchen, Plant-Based Seafood Co., New Wave Foods, Loving Hut, BeLeaf, Vegan Zeastar, and May Wah. While most brands are accessible in stores, some are only available online.
Vegan-friendly, plant-based shrimp packs a strikingly similar texture and flavor to real shrimp. So, if you are ready for the plunge and give these cruelty-free options a try, here are the best vegan shrimp brands on the market.
- What is Vegan Shrimp?
- Is It Healthy?
- The Best Vegan Shrimp Brands To Buy
- So, What Is The Best Vegan Shrimp To Buy?
What is Vegan Shrimp?
Vegan shrimp and other plant-based seafood pave the way for vegans and vegetarians looking for a healthy and sustainable way to enrich their diets. In addition, plant-based shrimp offer numerous health benefits, and it is a more ethical choice when taking the environmental impacts of the fishing industry into account.
Seafood generally has an incredibly particular taste and texture; it’s no wonder if you are skeptical about trying its plant-based substitute.
Shrimp has a distinctive taste; it offers a mildly salty, semi-sweet, and somewhat savory flavor profile. However, we can reassure you that the cruelty-free, vegan alternative tastes damn close to the real thing!
Here’s why it’s totally worth taking the plunge.
Is It Healthy?
Whenever we hear about a new vegan substitute for animal products, our first question always seems to be, “is it healthy?” While the answer depends on the specific products, vegan shrimp substitutes offer many health benefits.
So, if you’re anxious about consuming overly processed foods to submerge into your shrimp craving, today is your lucky day!
Replicating seafood is a more straightforward process than mimicking the taste of beef or chicken. The reason is the combination of natural ingredients in vegan shrimp help replicate the taste and texture of fresh shrimp. The two essential components are konjac and fenugreek, two popular flavoring agents that provide numerous health benefits.
Both components are full of essential nutrients, including inositol, biotin, vitamin A and D, B vitamins, and Iron.
Fresh shrimp and traditional seafood products are generally high in cholesterol. Switching to plant-based seafood is not only a healthier alternative for you, but it is sustainable and better for the planet.
Konjac, or glucomannan, is an herb that typically grows in parts of Asia. Konjac — also known as elephant yams — has a tuber-like stem that grows underground, better known as the corm. This starchy corm is often manufactured into a rich and healthy source of soluble dietary fiber.
People often use konjac to thicken and add texture to foods. However, it is also common in traditional Chinese medicine or as a dietary supplement that supports weight loss, reduces gut inflammation, and aids in cholesterol management. In addition, many manufacturers use konjac to create shrimp and other plant-based seafood products.
Regarding vegan shrimp, konjac and seaweed-based hydrocolloids are excellent compounds to replicate shrimp’s texture and fishy smell.
Fenugreek is another ingredient widely used in vegan shrimp substitutes. Fenugreek, also known as Greek hay, is native to Asia and the Mediterranean. Fenugreek seeds are exceptionally bitter when you eat them raw, but they offer a distinctive sweet flavor of syrup and burn sugar and a subtle bitterness when cooked.
When you combine the fenugreek seeds with the other vegan shrimp ingredients, it contributes to the mildly salty and semi-sweet depth of shrimp.
Fenugreek offers various health benefits including, reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, treating heart conditions, high blood pressure, and obesity.
The Best Vegan Shrimp Brands To Buy
Fresh shrimp is prevalent and consumed globally. However, the excessive demand for shrimp puts immense pressure on the supply and associated resources (oceans) as anglers continue to over-fish them.
With the compelling environmental and ethical cases, it’s no wonder, so many of us are vouching for an animal-free diet and looking for healthier, more sustainable alternatives to satisfy our seafood cravings. But how do we tame our seafood cravings?
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best vegan shrimp brands. Adding these vegan shrimps to your next dish will surely take you for a trip down memory lane without the guilty conscience of harming animals or the planet.
Let’s dig in.
All Vegetarian Inc
All Vegetarian Inc has been creating high-quality vegan products since 1994. Along with various plant-based meat, poultry, and seafood alternatives, you are sure to find their vegan-friendly and cruelty-free shrimp somewhere in the mix.
All Vegetarian Inc sells yummy bite-sized shrimp made from only the highest quality components. Even more, All Vegetarian Inc ensures that the products are entirely animal-free, non-GMO, and contain zero trans-fat.
Ingredients: Water, modified starch, glucomannan, sunflower oil, pea extract, seaweed extract, sea salt, and brown sugar.
- Entirely animal-free
- Zero trans-fat
If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly alternative to kill your “battered fried shrimp” cravings, Sophie’s Kitchen is the way to go!
Sophie’s Kitchen offers a plant-based, crispy, golden-brown vegan shrimp option made from natural plant extracts like konjac and fenugreek that help create a briny yet sweet flavor profile and texture that resembles shrimp. More so, the rice flakes offer a delicious crunchy texture.
Pair Sophie’s Kitchen’s battered shrimp with crispy French fries and a delicious plant-based tartar dipping sauce.
Ingredients: Water, potato starch, rice flakes (brown rice), canola oil, konjac powder, fenugreek, pea starch, organic agave nectar, alginate (from seaweed), sea salt, paprika, turmeric, white pepper, and calcium hydroxide.
Allergens: Made at a facility that uses tree nuts.
Plant-Based Seafood Co.
Plant-Based Seafood Co. is a woman-powered brand that currently offers three delicious varieties of vegan shrimp. You can choose between their Mind Blown naked, dusted, or crunchy coconut shrimp options that all mimic the look and taste of authentic seafood.
Plant-Based Seafood Co. is an award-winning brand, declared the “Most Disruptive Product of 2020” in Prepared Foods’ Spirit of Innovation awards. The owners produce their plant-based seafood products in the Chesapeake Bay, where their taste-test feedback comes directly from seafood-loving islanders that know high-quality seafood.
If the islanders can’t tell the difference between plant-based shrimp and the real stuff, you’ve got to it’s good!
Plant-Based Seafood Co. produces strictly vegan products free of soy, gluten, and preservatives. The best trait of the Mind Blown Plant-Based Seafood Co shrimp is that it only takes two minutes to prepare!
Currently, their products are only available online other than the one exception − the Coconut Shrimp is available at GreenWise Markets.
Mind Blown Naked Shrimp
The naked shrimp variety is a healthy plant-based shrimp without the famous Mind Blown batter. In addition, the shrimp comes in a resealable package, allowing you to conveniently prepare the desired quantity and store the rest in the freezer without any hassles.
Plant-based shrimp: Konjac powder, vegetable root starch, vegetable gum, brown sugar, paprika, sea salt, and vegan seasoning.
Allergens: Contain coconut.
Mind Blown Dusted Shrimp
Manufacturers hand batter each shrimp with a healthy bread coating that is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and corn-free.
Plant-based shrimp: Konjac powder, vegetable root starch, vegetable gum, brown sugar, paprika, sea salt, and vegan seasoning. Breading: brown rice, pea protein, whole algae protein. Gluten-free flour blend: rice flour, potato starch, pea fiber, tapioca starch, xanthan gum. Seasoning: celery salt (celery seed, salt), spices (red pepper, black pepper, paprika), dried garlic, dried parsley, salt, citric acid, crystalized lime, rice concentrate, lemon oil.
Allergens: Contain coconut.
Mind Blown Crispy Coconut Shrimp
Vegans searching for the long-awaited coconut shrimp can cease the hurt!
Plant-Based Seafood Co. offers an award-winning, vegan coconut shrimp with a perfect balance of savory and crunchy flavors. The Mind Blown, Crispy Coconut shrimp, is an excellent dish for vegetarians, vegans, and individuals with seafood allergies.
Manufacturers hand batter each shrimp with a gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and corn-free coating of unsweetened and unrefined coconut shreds.
Plant-based shrimp: Konjac powder, vegetable root starch, vegetable gum, brown sugar, paprika, sea salt, and vegan seasoning. Gluten-free flour blend: rice flour, potato starch, pea fiber, tapioca starch, xanthan gum. Water, organic dried coconut, organic coconut sugar, baking soda, cream tartar.
Allergens: Contain coconut.
New Wave Foods
New Wave Foods is a newly launched brand offering yummy vegan shrimp that’s out-of-this-world! The shrimp is made from sustainable seaweed and plant proteins; you can enjoy this delicious alternative grilled, sauteed, breaded, fried, or baked.
We guarantee that one bite will remind you of a sunset, sandy feet, and scrumptious fresh shrimp on the beach. New Wave shrimp is virtually indistinguishable from fresh, meaty shrimp in taste and texture.
Ingredients: Water, modified potato starch, potassium alginate, mung bean protein, sunflower oil, hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm oil), calcium lactate, natural & artificial flavor, sugar, fructose, sea salt, konjac powder, sunflower lecithin, potassium citrate
- Zero cholesterol
- Zero soy allergens
- Environmentally friendly
Allergens: No shellfish allergens.
BeLeaf creates an incredibly realistic shrimp taste and texture that you wouldn’t think twice if someone told you it was real. In addition, BeLeaf’s shrimp is a healthy, low-calorie, plant-based alternative perfect for grilled shrimp skewers or a vegan-friendly paella.
Ingredients: Konjac powder, vegetable root starch, vegetable gum, paprika, sea salt, brown sugar, plant-based vegan seasoning.
Allergens: May contain soy and wheat.
Loving hut delivers fresh, plant-based ocean shrimp using a mushroom extract and non-GMO soy protein with a vegan marine flavoring. The combination offers a strikingly realistic taste profile to real shrimp.
Loving hut’s veggie shrimp is ideal for stir-fries, salads, and pasta dishes.
Ingredients: Konjac powder, mushroom extract, non-bone char brown sugar, non-GMO soy protein, maltodextrin, sunflower oil, sea salt, marine flavor seasoning (yeast extract, D-Xylose, sucrose, coconut oil, cassava starch), sesame oil, red yeast rice extract, red yeast color, spices, white pepper, potato starch, paprika color, rosemary oil.
- Contains coconut
- Manufactured on equipment that processes wheat, soy, and sesame
Vegan Zeastar is a Dutch brand that has literally perfected the art of creating vegan seafood! Vegan Zeastar offers different plant-based shrimp varieties, including original, crispy, and flavored (lemon crumb).
The seaweed provides a fishy flavor that resembles prawns. When you fry these goodies, they turn into soft, juicy pieces of heaven with crunchy, golden-brown jackets.
Although the brand’s popularity has grown in the United States, it’s currently only available in New York and California.
Ingredients: Water, potato starch, kelp extract, sugar, salt, wheat fiber, gelling agent (konjac powder and carrageen), non-GMO soy protein powder, color (paprika extract).
Allergen contains: Soybean and wheat
It may also contain: Celery, sesame seeds, eggs, and milk.
May Wah Prawns
Decades before “plant-based” foods were a legit thing, May Wah, a vegetarian market, sold mock duck, eel, and squid to the conscientious eaters in New York’s Chinatown.
The over twenty-year-old grocery shop with bright green awning is an unassuming landmark in New York with frozen aisles filled with plant-based chicken wings, pork belly, spot prawns, and shrimp.
May Wah makes their famous vegan shrimp from mushrooms, soybeans, and konjac. The May Wah shrimp is a true game-changer due to its versatility and high-quality component shaped and flavored to resemble animal protein.
Ingredients: Water, modified potato starch, konjac powder, beta gluten, paprika, sea salt, sugar, alginate, carrageenan, calcium hydroxide.
So, What Is The Best Vegan Shrimp To Buy?
Seafood is a delicacy that many of us find difficult to shake off. Fortunately, creativity and dedication regarding the quest for plant-based seafood alternatives allow us to satisfy our belly and conscience simultaneously.
With the broad spectrum of vegan-friendly shrimp choices, we can enrich our tastebuds once again! So, go to the store or roam around online to end the torment of your favorite sushi or shrimp skewer cravings.