On October 4, Impossible Pork will make its Hong Kong debut at 100 restaurants. Prior to its launch in Hong Kong, Impossible Foods conducted a blind taste test with more than 200 local consumers and found that 54 to 46 percent preferred its vegan pork to pig meat. Impossible Pork is made from similar ingredients to the Impossible Burger but with different ratios of fat, a more pork-like texture, and less soy leghemoglobin (“heme”)—the ingredient responsible for the “meaty” taste of Impossible Foods’ products. The vegan meat was developed to mimic pork on every level and can be used to replace animal meat in dishes such as spring rolls, meatballs, dumplings, xiao long bao, and shumai, and can be cooked in a steamer, oven, charbroiler, flat-top grill, or sauté pan.
The vegan pork will make its way into a wide range of Hong Kong restaurants and be available at different price points, including dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan—known as the “world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant”—which will feature Impossible Pork in four dim sum and rice dishes at all of its locations in Hong Kong. Chef May Chow—who held the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2017—will add the vegan pork to her restaurants Little Bao (where it will be served as part of a Taiwanese “LuRou” Scotch Egg) and Happy Paradise (where Chef Chow will incorporate Impossible Pork into a Dan Dan noodles dish).
The early acceptance of Impossible Pork by consumers in Hong Kong is promising, as the vegan pork is much more environmentally friendly than its animal-derived counterpart. When compared to pork—the most-consumed meat in the world and a cultural staple in the cuisines of many Asian countries—Impossible Pork has a much lighter impact on the planet using 81 to 85 percent less water, 66 to 82 percent less land, and generating 73 to 77 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. “Minced pork is central to so many classic Chinese recipes from dumplings to spring rolls to dan dan noodles,” Chef Chow said in a statement. “I’m thrilled we now have a more sustainable alternative that does not compromise on the original diversity, deliciousness, and depth of everyone’s favorite recipes.”
In November, Impossible Pork will expand its presence to Southeast Asia by way of Singapore, and will be available at a number of restaurants, including at Prive, PS Cafe, and Da Paolo. At popular fusion eatery Moonbow Dempsey, Chef Heman Tan—known as the “IronMan Chef of Singapore” for his athletic achievements—will serve the vegan pork as part of a Crispy Cheesy Impossible Pork Ball.
Impossible’s vegan pork arrives
While Impossible Foods’ plant-based pork has been available at United States-based chains such as Starbucks, Jamba, and Burger King, the company announced the launch of its Impossible Sausage (a vegan pork made for home cooks) at 13,000 stores in August. The cholesterol-free vegan pork is available in both spicy and savory varieties and features impressive health metrics. Compared to a four-ounce serving of 70/30 USDA ground pork, Impossible Pork contains 37-percent fewer calories, 59-percent less total fat, 36-percent less saturated fat, and nearly three times more iron. Stateside, early consumer acceptance of Impossible Pork is promising, too. In a small home usage test of 136 consumers, Impossible Foods found that 66 percent said Impossible Sausage tasted as good as or better than pork ground sausage.
The vegan pork is also making its way to more restaurant menus in the US. Tomorrow, celebrity chef David Chang—one of the first chefs to add the Impossible Burger to his menu at Momofuku Nishi—will be adding Impossible Pork to his Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City. Chang will recreate his most popular dish, Spicy Rice Cakes, using an Impossible Pork Ragu instead of meat.
“Our menu calls for high quality, versatile ingredients, and Impossible Foods’ products always deliver,” Momofuku Culinary Director Max Ng said in a statement. “Impossible Pork replicates the delicious flavor and juiciness of pork, making it a perfect fit for one of our most iconic dishes.”
Replacing animals with plants
Impossible Foods is on a mission to replace all animal foods with viable plant-based alternatives by 2035. In addition to tackling beef with its Impossible Burger and pork with its Impossible Pork, the company announced the retail and foodservice launch of its third vegan meat product, Impossible Chicken Nuggets, earlier this month. Preliminary taste tests of the vegan chicken with 201 meat-eating Texans showed similar success to Impossible Pork with seven out of 10 participants preferring the Impossible Chicken Nuggets to traditional chicken nuggets made by a leading brand.
“Earlier this month, we beat the animal with the launch of Impossible Chicken Nuggets,” Impossible Foods President Dennis Woodside said in a statement. “With Impossible Pork, we’re beating the animal again while satisfying even more types of cuisine—another important step towards making the global food system much more sustainable.”