When transitioning toward veganism, fish is generally the last kind of meat one gives up. People can convince themselves to ditch red meat because of all the health implications, and then empathy tends to kick in and land animals are eventually phased out of the diet. But there’s something about sushi night that a cucumber avocado roll just can’t satisfy. Well, while 2019 has been called “the year of the vegan,” it’s really “the year of vegan fish.” This year, plant-based raw tuna, crab cakes, caviar, and more are hitting the shelves and even expanding into foodservice. These six innovative vegan seafood products are sure to win over the palate of any pescetarian.


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1. Ocean Hugger Foods Ahimi Tuna
For the sushi fans and the all-you-can-eat crowd, Ocean Hugger Foods’ raw tomato-based tuna will satisfy that sushi craving. This ahi tuna replica is simply made with tomatoes, non-GMO soy sauce, filtered water, sugar, and sesame oil. Despite this minimal preparation, the flavor and texture is complex and unbelievably fishy (in a good way). The company is marketing the Ahimi in its purest form—over sushi rice wrapped in seaweed—as well as in sushi rolls and plant-based poke bowls.  Ahimi tuna can be found in the prepared foods section in select Whole Foods Markets and in a variety of poke and sushi restaurants across the US.


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2. Good Catch Fish-Free Fish
From the founders of the popular Wicked Healthy blog and ready-made meal brand, Good Catch is planning to wow the world with its cooked tuna products. Business partners, chefs, and brothers Derek and Chad Sarno have been testing the product throughout 2018, giving away samples and drawing mass crowds at last year’s Natural Products Expo. The line of packaged vegan tuna and crabless cakes will launch at Thrive Market this year. Get ready for the best tuna fish sandwich you’ve ever had. It just happens to be fishless.


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3. New Wave Foods Shrimp
When replicating animal products, it’s often the texture that stumps many chefs and innovators. Shrimp was particularly difficult to replicate, until New Wave Foods cracked the code with its algae-based vegan shrimp—the first of its kind. This plant-based shrimp mimics that distinct chew of cooked shrimp perfectly, and the taste is equally on point. The distribution is limited for now, but you can try it through select Veestro meals, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Orchard Grocer in New York.


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4. Vbites Plant-Based Fish Products
This UK vegan meat company is headed across the pond! UK consumers are currently enjoying a wide variety of plant-based fishy products, from smoked salmon to fried fishless fingers and even tuna pate. The US will get a taste of the UK’s vegan fish craze later this year.


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5. Gardein
Craving something fried? Gardein is a pioneer in the vegan fish sector, gaining a loyal consumer base by sampling its Crabless Cakes at festivals and winning over omnivores with its deliciously crispy Fishless Filets. As this company has been around for years, the products are widely available across the US in most major supermarkets and health food stores. Bring on the chips and vegan tartar sauce!


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6. Plant Based Foods Cavi-art
Oh, you fancy! Plant Based Foods has created a vegan caviar for the refined and sophisticated palates. These salty umami pearls are made from seaweed, water, salt, spice extracts, and a stabilizer to give them that unique fish egg texture—without the fish. There are various colors of Cavi-art, each with a distinct flavor. These include Red, Orange, Red-Orange, Black, and Yellow. Additional flavors such as Truffle, Chilli, and Salmon are also available. Purchase a case for your next fancy dinner party online.


Tanya Flink is a writer and journalist living in Orange County, CA.

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