Plant Based Fish, The Next Big Thing
Plant Based Meats have been the food trend to watch, in recent years. I even wrote a book about it. Hot on the heels of mock meats is a new growth industry: Plant Based Fish. The hunger for familiar, high protein foods that come from plants is driving a surge in the development and sales of mock seafoods, and I’ve had some pretty tasty “crab” cakes, faux “salmon,” and now,”Tuna.”
While researching my Plant Based Meats cookbook, I met and spoke to lots of people in the business of making plant based foods. One of the earliest adopters of the plant based meat concept was the Loma Linda company, who started manufacturing veggie meats back in 1890.It’s quite an accomplishment that heir product line goes back 125 years. They are now part of Atlantic Natural Foods, along with Neat, makers of plant based “eggs,” baking mixes and prepared foods, I spoke to the inventor of Neat Eggs, Laura Lapp, in this post. They recently came out with their own version of tuna, called “Tuno,” and it is in packets or cans, packed in water or Sriracha, Lemon Pepper, Thai Sweet Chili or Sesame Ginger Sauce.
I’ll Be Giving Away Cans of Plant Based Fish at Minnesota Veg Fest
Thanks to Atlantic Natural Foods, I’ve got a large assortment of plant based proteins to give away at my booth at Minnesota Veg Fest on September 15th!
The first 500 people who come to my booth get to pick a can, from an assortment including Tuno, Taco filling, and more. You can toss one in your swag bag, and not worry about it spoiling as you frolic at the festival. We are expecting several thousand attendees, so come early. I’ll be selling my books Plant Based Meats; Hearty High Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians and Curious Carnivores, Vegan Meal Prep: A 5-Week Plan with 125 Ready-To-Go Recipes, and Big Vegan, Over 350 Recipes, No Meat, No Dairy All Delicious.
The Tuna Question
Much was made, in recent articles, about Millenials not eating tuna. The folks at Starkist blame them for killing tuna sales, claiming that Millenials don’t own can openers and can’t be bothered to open the can and get utensils. That bit of creative PR overlooks a 30 year decline in tuna sales, fueled by fears of mercury in the fish, concerns about overfishing, dolphins being killed in the nets, and yes, the smell.
I can assure you, the Tuno I used in this recipe did not stink up the kitchen. My cats did stroll in when they heard me open the can, and they did want to sniff it, but that’s a cat’s automatic response to the sound of a can opener. Had it been smelly cat food or tuna, they would have been frantic with desire.
Nostalgia for Tuna Salads and Casseroles
For this recipe, I used the Sriracha Tuno. If you can only get water-packed, you can always just drain it and sprinkle with Sriracha sauce before putting it in the rolls. If you miss the tuna salad sandwiches and casseroles of your youth, definitely try making them with Tuno. It’s got a nice, lightly seafood-ish taste and a tender but chewy texture that does remind you of tuna in all your fave tuna dishes. It’s less salty and fishy than real tuna, but that’s a plus, for most people. It’s made from Non-GMO soy protein, so popping open a can or packet delivers an easy protein to your day.
Summer Rolls are Great with Tuno
I took a little swerve from making the hits and made these veggie-packed Summer Rolls. A typical Vietnamese Summer Roll or rice paper roll will have shrimp, and sometimes a little pork thrown in for good measure. I usually make mine with tofu, but I wanted to see how the mock-fish interacted with the rice noodles and veggies and peanut sauce. It was a huge hit with my husband, and we made quick work of all ten of them!
So, look for Tuno at your local grocers, and if you can, come to Veg Fest on September 15th, 2019, and share in the plant based celebration!
"Tuno" Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
- 4 ounces rice noodles I used red rice noodles
- 2 cans Sriracha Tuno
- 1 large avocado pitted, sliced in the shell and scooped out
- 1/2 large cucumber peeled, seeded and sliced in strips
- 1 cups thinly slivered red cabbage
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh mint or Thai Basil
- 10 large rice or tapioca wrappers
- In a 1 quart pot, combine the coconut milk, curry paste, ginger, turmeric, palm sugar and salt and heat over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the lime juice and peanut butter and simmer just until thick, if needed, thin with water to dippable consistency. Makes about 3/4 cup.
- Put water on to boil for noodles. Mix the rice vinegar and palm sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil just to melt the sugar. Let cool. Cook noodles and rinse under cold water, drain. Place in a medium bowl and add the vinegar mixture, toss to mix. Drain the Tuno in a wire mesh strainer, don't rinse. Prep the vegetables, keeping them in separate piles.
- Prepare a lasagne sized pan of warm water, and a kitchen towel lying flat beside it. Put a wrapper in the water and submerge gently. When it softens, put on towel to drain. On each wrapper, place a couple tablespoons of tuno, then about a tenth of the vegetables and rice noodles, then fold the sides in, then roll up. Place on a platter, not touching. Cover the rolls with a damp towel as you go. Serve within a few hours with peanut sauce for dipping.