Sushi restaurant Blue Sushi Sake Grill has added a new lineup of vegan sushi, featuring products from Ocean Hugger Foods, an innovative company based in New York.
They're the first restaurant concept in the country to serve it.
Blue Sushi is already known for its large selection of vegan sushi along with regular fish items, and is a favorite with the Dallas-Fort Worth vegan crowd as well as those who don't do raw fish.
In the world of vegan foodstuffs, most of the faux meats currently on the market mimic land animals such as beef, chicken, and pork. Ocean Hugger Foods has carved out a special niche by creating plant-based alternatives to fish.
And unlike most faux meats that use ingredients such as soy, wheat protein, and the ultra-hot pea protein, Ocean Hugger uses vegetables.
- Ahimi raw "tuna" is made from Roma tomatoes.
- Sakimi "salmon" is made from carrots.
- Unami "eel" is made from eggplant.
What is especially persuasive about these items is their texture: firm-yet-fleshy. Ocean Hugger says they use a proprietary process which means they won't share, but a food dehydrator definitely seems to be part of the technique.
"We play to the natural attributes of the produce we use," the company says. "We make Ahimi, our raw tuna alternative, from tomato. Tomatoes contain high levels of naturally-occurring glutamic acids, which are responsible for the savory flavor of meaty foods."
According to a release, Blue is the first national restaurant group to serve Ocean Hugger Foods plant-based alternatives in the United States. It's available at all three DFW locations including West 7th in Fort Worth and Preston Hollow and McKinney Avenue in Dallas.
"We are thrilled to have Blue Sushi Sake Grill as a partner serving our Ahimi vegan tomato tuna and Unami vegan eggplant eel products," Boudin says. "We value their continued commitment to offering plant-based menu items, not only for their plant-based guests, but for anyone concerned about the impact their diet has on the environment."
Blue's new vegan maki rolls include:
- Green Goddess – Spicy Ahimi, cucumber, cilantro, shallot, avocado, black vegan tobiko, and ponzu sauce
- Unami Express – Unami, pineapple, red pepper, Thai basil, vegan masago, scallion, and sweet soy sauce
- Unami Maki – Unami, vegan cream cheese, avocado, and sweet soy sauce
- Vegan South Pacific – Unami tempura, vegan cream cheese, pineapple, scallion and sweet soy sauce
To enhance the new items, the chain has added soy- and dairy-free cream cheese from Follow Your Heart, and vegan roe — including masago, tobiko, and ikura — made from seaweed from Plant Based Foods: Cavi-art.