Restaurant chain Blue Sushi Sake Grill recently expanded its vegan menu options to include several new rolls made with Follow Your Heart’s vegan cream cheese and Unami—an eggplant-based vegan eel made by Ocean Hugger Foods. “We worked with the vegan eel for quite some time and were really happy with the flavor profile,” Tony Gentile, Corporate Executive Chef and Owner of Blue Sushi’s parent company Flagship Restaurant Brands, told VegNews. “With the vegan eel and the addition of vegan cream cheese, we had the capabilities of making some of our own sushi favorites and making them vegan.” The menu additions are comprised of four sushi rolls: Green Goddess (spicy tomato tuna, cucumber, cilantro, shallot, avocado, ponzu sauce, and black tobiko vegan caviar); Unami Express (pineapple, red pepper, Thai basil, barbecue eggplant eel, and masago vegan caviar); Unami Maki (barbecue eggplant eel, vegan cream cheese, avocado, and sweet soy sauce); and Vegan South Pacific (barbecue eggplant eel tempura, vegan cream cheese, pineapple, scallion, and sweet soy sauce). Customers are advised that fried options such as tempura share the same fryer as animal-based items but servers are able to accommodate requests to avoid cross-contamination with non-fried substitutions. “It’s important to continue to build on our vegan offerings for several reasons,” Gentile said. “We have made some incredible relationships with people who share the same passion for vegan food as we do. Less obvious is there is a big demand for vegan sushi. As a part of our Conscious Earth program, responsible sourcing and reduction of carbon footprint are a high priority and vegan food, in general, is really the total package.” Blue Sushi also serves Ocean Hugger’s Ahimi (a tomato-based vegan tuna) in a variety of vegan rolls. The new menu options are already available at select Blue Sushi locations and are expected to roll out to all of its restaurants across nine states by the end of the month.
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