Vegan shrimp. Yes, that’s right, this stuff does exist. With the boon of veganism currently sweeping the globe, companies are coming up with new and ingenious alternatives for meat and dairy products.
Now someone has finally cracked the shrimp market.
The fact is that shrimp is made mostly from plant extract, the same as a lot of other vegan substitutes.
Included in vegan shrimp is seaweed extract, brown sugar, seasoning, modified starch, corn and a few other ingredients (see more about buying vegan shrimp here).
But is vegan shrimp just as tasty as the meat version? Does it contain dairy? What is the nutritional content of this vegan substitute?
Well, we’re going to hold a magnifying glass up to this seafood substitute to see whether it is worth you forking out money for.
What Is Vegan shrimp?
These days you can get vegan versions of pretty much anything.
You can buy vegan tuna in a can, vegan drumsticks that you can roast on the barbeque or cook in the oven or you can get vegan turkey roast that you can wheel out at Christmas time.
Vegan shrimp is basically fish that is suitable for vegans to eat (see more about vegan’s eating fish here). It is even shaped like shrimp so that you don’t get scared of trying something new.
Vegan products are designed to capture the flavor, texture and often the shape of their meat- and dairy-based counterparts.
The fact is that there are many different vegan shrimp alternatives manufactured by many different companies. Some of them contain a wide variety of ingredients, each of which we’ll go into later in the article.
Why Do People Choose Vegan Shrimp?
If you are an ethical vegan, then you’ll know that there is plenty wrong with real shrimp. If you eat shrimp, then you are contributing to overfishing practices that reduce the biodiversity of the ocean and result in polluting the seabed.
You also cannot trust the sources of a lot of shrimp. They could have ingested chemicals from the ocean that will lead to your shrimp being not that nice to eat and very low in quality minerals and vitamins.
Also, seafood such as shrimp is very expensive! If you are getting lots of shrimp on a regular basis, then you will see a sizable hole in your bank balance.
Shrimp also have bacteria that is not great for the human digestive system.
It might also be because you are simply allergic to real shrimp. There are plenty of people who develop an allergy to shrimp, even if they did not have an allergy before.
This means that you might develop a real taste for shrimp, only to have it removed by a sudden allergy that could cause you a lot of discomfort.
If you fall under one of these categories, then you might be interested to hear about the companies that are making these kinds of shrimp and how you can get your hands on them. Check out our list of best vegan shrimp brands on the market.
Best Vegan Shrimp Brands
1. Vegan Zeastar
This is one of the newest brands of vegan shrimp that you can find and it’s simply amazing. Made from a mixture of water and potato starch, these lemony shrimp alternatives are simply delicious.
You can fry them in the air fryer for a great low-calorie meal.
The packaging is also great, as it makes it very clear what’s inside your vegan shrimp. However, there might be trace amounts of egg and milk in this brand of shrimp which might deter the hardcore vegans.
Other than that, this is an affordable portion of faux seafood.
2. All Vegetarian Inc. Meatless Shrimp
This next brand has established themselves as a reliable and authentic supplier of meat-free goods. This shrimp package gives you all the basics, made from water, modified starch and sunflower oil.
This is also completely free of soy and gluten.
You can get plenty of vegan alternative from All Vegetarian Inc., including turkey, “chicken” drumsticks and tuna. If you want protein but you want to avoid all types of cruelty, then this is a great frozen seafood meal.
3. BeLeaf Shrimp
This brand of shrimp uses ingredients that you won’t find in any other meatless shrimp brand. This contains konjac powder, vegetable gum, vegetable root starch, paprika, brown sugar, sea salt and plant based vegan seasoning.
All these ingredients make up an eclectic nutritional profile.
You won’t notice the difference between this meatless shrimp and the real thing. You can throw these in the frying pan or chop them up. Either way, they will give a lot of body to a summer salad or a fishless fish stew.
4. Plant Based Seafood Co. Mind Blown Shrimp
This company claims they are going to blow your mind with their unique brand of meatless shrimp, but can that make a claim to this? Quite simply, yes, they can, this shrimp is simply amazing.
This company sells both coconut and dusted shrimp, both of which deliver that tropical taste.
And what else? This is made from things like konjac powder, vegetable roots starch and paprika.
Mix this together with other ingredients and you’ll conjure up something that tastes not unlike the shrimp that you might get at a Red Lobster.
Which Is the Best Meatless Shrimp?
For our money, we would go with the Mind Blown shrimp by the Plant Based Seafood Co., simply because they offer a range of shrimp that will add something different to whatever meal you put them in.
When you are looking for a decent shrimp substitute, you’ll want something that immediately replicates that distinctive taste.
You’ll also want something with a decent protein count, as the reason why people eat a lot of shrimp is to gain some muscle.
Hopefully our article on meatless shrimp has let the scales fall from your eyes (pardon the pun) when it comes to seafood without the animals.
Some of these shrimp do contain trace amounts of milk and eggs, so make sure that you read the label closely before buying.
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