Looking for vegan and/or plant-based seafood alternatives such as crab cakes and breaded calamari? I have always wanted a vegan crab cake. I grew up around crab-based or seafood cuisine as a kid.
Based in Taiwan, Sophie’s Kitchen creates seafood alternatives, for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, and those who are allergic to seafood. Their products have no cholesterol, trans fat, saturated fat, preservatives, colors, MSG, sugar or any artificial ingredients, plus they are non-GMO. However, few are GLUTEN-FREE: vegan crab cakes, breaded vegan scallops, vegan prawns and vegan shrimps.
★ PRODUCT NAME: Sophie’s Kitchen
★ WEBSITE: www.sophieskitchen.net
★ ABOUT: As a leading vegetarian food manufacturer in Taiwan for more than 20 years, Sophie’s Kitchen develops vegan/vegetarian plant-based seafood products using Konjac root(Elephant Yam Root) as a base. Konjac is widely used in SE Asia and traditional Japanese cuisine as a staple “superfood”, plus it contains high source of fiber and very few calories. Sophie’s Kitchen combines Konjac root with seaweed in their products.
I am reviewing four out of seven products (as of Summer 2012): Vegan Crab Cakes, Breaded Vegan Fish Fillets, Breaded Vegan Shrimp and Breaded Vegan Calamari. The Vegan Crab Cakes is Gluten-Free.
Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Crab Cake with FYH tartar sauce seasoned with dill, chili powder, on julienned carrots and red peppers
This is my favourite seafood alternative for Sophie’s Kitchen. I loved crab cakes or crab-based cuisine as a young kid. The interior has a stringy crab-like texture, with a slight aroma from the seaweed. I baked it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, to make the crab cake more crunchy, but it browned slightly around the edge of the crab cake, but not all of it. The package instructed to bake for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees F, but I baked it longer. All ovens are different. It is best to let it sit out for a bit, then pan fry each side to get a better crunchy coating. Plus, it’s both soy-free and gluten-free. It’s a good vegan crab cake alternative!
★ INGREDIENTS: water, konjac powder, pea protein, modified potato starch, organic agave nectar, canola oil, rice vinegar, sea salt, seaweed powder, rice flakes, potato starch, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, celery salt, bay leaf, dry mustard, paprika, cloves, calcium hydroxide
My first impression was an ordinary vegan breaded patty that you usually find in burgers, etc., but it tasted more of a “seafood alternative” because of the konjac. One of the major ingredients in the breaded fish fillets is the textured vegetable protein (non-gmo); it contains soy. The breaded coating provided a crunchy taste as the interior was soft and moist. While there aren’t many vegan “fish” products in the U.S., that is what makes Sophie’s Kitchen products unique. I would recommend baking it longer than 20 minutes at 400 degrees F, to make it crispy and delicious. The vegan fish filet didn’t taste tough, it is a bit similar like a vegan chicken patty I had, but with unique flavour. I would love to see vegan fish fillet in random shapes, rather than being round as a “patty.”
★ INGREDIENTS: textured vegetable protein (non-gmo isolated soy protein, non-gmo soy flour, corn starch, water), canola oil, potato starch, powdered celluose, organic agave nectar, sea salt, konjac powder, multigrain blend (buckwheat, oat, barley, millet, flaxseed), whole wheat flour, wheat crumb, tumeric, white pepper, ginger
Fish n’ Chips with FYH tartar sauce seasoned with dill and lemon wedge
Vegan Fish Fillet Burger with Julienned Carrots and Red Peppers and FYH horseradish sauce
The paprika ingredient was found in breaded vegan shrimp, otherwise both of products’ ingredients are the same. It would be a new and strange experience for vegans who have not tried real seafood before, but not for ones who had seafood, i.e., my boyfriend avoids real shrimps or never had a calamari before at a young age. I grew up around seafood dishes. Both breaded vegan shrimp and calamari have delicious and crispy breadcrumb coating. Fried calamari has a tendency to become rubbery and tough because they are overcooked and fried, which slightly fits the “vegan” fried calamari description. It’s an unique alternative to real calamari! As for breaded vegan shrimps, they are considered a chewy appetizer with a bit of crunch, they might not taste like the original, tender shrimps, but they are a good vegan alternative to shrimps. These plant-based seafood alternatives are great for ones who are allergic to seafood, but love seafood.
★ INGREDIENTS for Breaded Vegan Calamari: water, konjac powder, beta glucan, modified potato starch, organic agave nectar, sea salt, canola oil, multigrain blend (buckwheat, oat, barley, millet, flaxseed), whole wheat flour, wheat crumb, turmeric, potato starch, white pepper, carrageenan (seaweed based gelatin), alginate (from seaweed), calcium hydroxide
★ INGREDIENTS for Breaded Vegan Shrimp: water, konjac powder, beta glucan, modified potato starch, paprika, organic agave nectar, sea salt, canola oil, multigrain blend (buckwheat, oat, barley, millet, flaxseed), whole wheat flour, wheat crumb, turmeric, potato starch, white pepper, carrageenan (seaweed based gelatin), alginate (from seaweed), calcium hydroxide
This item(s) was kindly sent to me to review by Sophie’s Kitchen. All products that are mentioned and reviewed here on my vegan blog are of my own personal opinions and I am not being compensated to review them, only just to share my thoughts. Any products mentioned here should be used at your own discretion and with caution. I only review cruelty-free and vegan products. I will not review any products that I don’t love. If I receive a product complimentary of the company, it will be stated so in the post, otherwise, all products are purchased myself for my own personal use.