It may sound a bit fishy at first, but it’s well and true that vegan fish is on the rise in the U.K. market. While there have been vegan meat alternatives for beef, chicken, and pork for many years, fish have become the latest trend to be turned into vegan-friendly options.
With the vegan population quadrupled in the last 3 years in the U.K, there is more demand than ever for fish alternatives. And luckily, there are plenty of varieties depending on your tastebuds. So, this time, we interviewed nutritionist Tara Corbett to get to know more about vegan fish, its types, ingredients, and more. Read the buying guide section as it will help you understand the product better, and you'll be able to make a better choice while buying it.
Tara is a nutritionist and energy coach who helps clients lose weight, improve their eating habits, and get their energy back through their nutrition.
Tara specialises in helping busy parents specifically improve their eating with ease and without overwhelm, and get back on track so the whole family can benefit.
Vegan Fishless Fingers
Plant Kitchen Fish Cake
Easy Mix Fishcakes
High in Protein and Fibre Vegan Fish Fingers
Made With Rice Protein And Contains Whole Ingredients Like Potatoes
Pea Flour Based Fishcakes, Loaded With Protein
|Main Ingredient||Wheat||Potatoes, wheat flour and more||Pea Flour|
|Protein (per 100g)||4.5g||2.1g||41g|
|Type||Fish Fingers||Fish Cake||Fish Cake|
|Protein (per 100g)||4.5g|
These vegan fish fingers are a tasty and easy choice for both adults and children! They are made from mycoprotein and are high in protein, fibre and amino acids.
|Main Ingredient(s)||Potatoes, wheat flour and more|
|Protein (per 100g)||2.1g|
These cakes are a perfect option for when you want something a bit fancier but you still want the taste of a nice vegan fish.
|Main Ingredient(s)||Pea Flour|
|Protein (per 100g)||41g|
With such a fresh and healthy option available, it really can be a better option than having traditional fresh fish!
Key Points to Consider
A staple in the British diet is undoubtedly a tasty helping of battered fish & chips soaked in vinegar and salt. Unfortunately, choosing plant-based meant you would have to stick to just the chips (if they were friends in non-animal-based grease). Although fried tofu can be used as an option, it doesn’t have the authentic taste that fish-based products have.
A healthy meat alternative that has been able to act as a great fish product is mycoprotein. This protein is made from a naturally occurring fungus and is extracted in a process similar to that used in making beer.
Mycoprotein is high in protein, fibre, and amino acids (just like meat) and is used in Quorn’s Vegan Fishless Fingers. It's also low in sodium, salt, and sugars and even has the same texture as meat- it is the closest thing you can get to the meat while remaining plant-based! This means that vegans can now enjoy the Friday night dinner of Fish & Chips without compromising their dietary choices.
There is more than one recipe for making vegan fish. However, they may be made differently commercially. The most commonly used homemade recipe is the tofu one, where tofu is kept as a base for its texture.
Since tofu doesn't have a strong taste, edible seaweed or algae is added in the form of dry pieces to it. As these ingredients are connected to the sea, so they bring in a distinctive taste of seawater. They are served with sauces like soy sauce or sweet Japanese sauce to get them closer to the original taste of seafood.
Lastly, there are a few more options to consider. These days various other ingredients like pea powder, wheat, potatoes and more are being used to mimic the flavour and texture of non-vegan fish.
Made from extracting the protein out of yellow peas, pea protein is one of the highest qualities of vegan protein available. It is also a great source of iron and aids muscle growth, weight loss, and overall heart health. It’s a pure source of protein, containing virtually no carbohydrates or fat.
And although pea protein traditionally has been used for vegan protein powder, it is gaining popularity in many meatless options. A great innovative way to utilise pea protein is to create vegan fish in a dry mix of ingredients. A great example of this is Greenforce’s Easy Mix Fish Cakes.
This mix contains whole ingredients and can be made into vegan fish cakes by only adding water and cooking in the oven. With such a fresh and healthy option available, it really can be a better option than having traditional fresh fish!
If you've decided to give vegan fish a go, the first thing you need to decide is what type of fish alternative you want to try! Now so many different options are made to mimic the taste of a wide variety of fish, which is a sigh of relief that you aren't confined to just one style of fish.
You can find options on the milder side, such as cod and haddock (made from tofu, usually), all the way to really fishy options like tuna, sushi and even smoked salmon.
There are more vegan protein options today, you might not know some of them, we have covered various products like vegan protein powders, vegan party foods, vegan chocolate cakes and more, so check out some of the links mentioned below if you're curious to know more about these vegan options.
Editor: Nikhil Deora
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