Vegan FISH with FAKE SKIN & Vegetarian EEL TASTE TEST – What does imitation fish taste like?

Vegan FISH with FAKE SKIN & Vegetarian EEL TASTE TEST – What does imitation fish taste like?


Greetings, my beautiful lovelies! Hi, it’s Emmy! Welcome back! Today, I’m going to be tasting a couple of vegetarian and vegan products. So, I found these at my local Asian market and I had never seen them before. The first one being this. And this is vegan fish. Now, what I found so interesting about this is that it has skin on it. It is shaped like a fish. It has fish kind of texturing, like scales. So, many of you may not know this, but many Buddhists are vegetarian. So, there are a lot of faux meats if you go to the Asian market But I have never seen fish before, nor have I ever tasted it. I paid $6.99 for it. It was not inexpensive. It says “vegan imitation of fish,” and in terms of ingredients, It says it’s soy protein, non-gmo, soy bean fiber, contains mushroom head… Not a very good translation. Ah, mushroom fiber, dried laver, which is nori or seaweed -I think that’s what that skin is made out of- canola oil, whey proteins, sugar, and salt. So, this very clearly says it’s vegan, but in the ingredients it says it contains whey protein, and whey comes from milk. So, I don’t think this is actually technically vegan. Although it does say it is. This is made in Taiwan, and it is Halal. It says you can steam, boil, stir fry, deep fry. Wow And I do have to say that does look remarkably fish-like Kind of like tilapia in shape. It doesn’t have an eyeball, but it does have a bit of a mouth and some fins and it does have some texture to it. So what I think they do is they probably make some kind of paste and then they inject it into some kind of mold and then on top of that they put a rectangle of seaweed on top to give it the appearance of skin. From the looks of this, this is already cooked. I’m just going to steam it to rewarm it So I’m gonna take this little steamer basket and then just steam this for 10 minutes or so, until it’s thoroughly warmed up. Okay. Alright, so while the fish is steaming, let’s go ahead and check out this. And this is vegetarian eel. Now, if you’ve never had eel before, in Japanese it’s called unagi. It is absolutely delicious. It’s usually served over a bed of rice and it’s roasted and then on top of that is a glistening, sticky, sweet and salty sauce. Absolutely delicious. The texture of the eel is unctuous and fatty and juicy and soft and absolutely delicious. Now, if you’ve never had eel before I highly, highly recommend it. So, I’ve never had a vegetarian version before. This, too, is made in Taiwan and it says it’s veggie Japanese roasting eel with sauce. This one says it’s vegetarian and this is right here at lacto-vegetarian. The ingredients are soy protein -non-gmo- whey protein, milk product canola starch, laver, salt, sugar, pepper, yeast powder, hedgehog hydnum mushroom, vegetarian seasoning and vegetarian essence. Alright, so let’s go ahead and open this. So, there’s the sauce beneath it. So this shape is very uniform and it’s supposed to imitate the shape of the prepared eel, which is usually butterflied open and splayed like this and this is supposed to be like the texture of the meat. There’s lots of sesame seeds here and on the other side, it looks like it has skin on it. Indeed, and in this kind of wet state, it looks very much like skin, uncannily so, but this is just, again, another sheet of seaweed. Kind of amazing. This one smells fishy. It smells a little bit, like, canned tuna. Interesting. Okay. So, let’s get a saute pan and get this one fried right up. I’m gonna add one teaspoon (4.9 mL) of oil. Hmm. Sounds promising! Wow, it smells a lot like unagi. It’s got a fish smell, not unpleasant, not stinky. We’ve got that carmelization smell going on. Alright, let’s give this a flip. Oh boy, it smells pretty good. Huh. Now that it’s cooking on the other side, it doesn’t have that roasted unagi smell as much. I think that a lot of that flavor and smell comes from the roasting and frying of the seaweed or the skin portion of the unagi. Alright, let’s turn this over. Wow, look at that! That’s beautiful. This is a sweet sauce, this is going to burn, so I don’t want to put it on too early. Alrighty, look at the unagi, or the vegetarian unagi. It looks pretty good. The sauce definitely makes it feel and look more like the unagi with this beautiful glaze on it. The sesame seeds actually look fine in there as well. It was first came out of the packaging, I was a little bit skeptical about it. But, I’m pretty impressed so far, just based on the very similitude in the look of it, we’ll see how it goes in terms of flavor. Unagi, real unagi, has a very distinctive flavor and texture. It’s very, very melt away and soft and tender and absolutely scrumptious. I’m skeptical that the vegetarian version is going to be able to emulate that texture, but we shall see. And that’s what it looks like in cross-section, not too bad. Let’s put it on my rice. Let’s give that a taste, itadakimasu! Wow. That is actually quite impressive. It is not unagi, of course not, this is a vegetarian substitute. But, it’s pretty good! I mean, not as good as unagi, it never could be, but in terms of its texture, remember I was describing that soft, beautiful, supple texture that unagi has. This gets close. Mm-hmm. It is very, very tender, and soft, without being mushy. And in terms of texture, the texture is not chewy or rubbery. It’s soft and kind of supple. And the nori, or the faux skin layer, is really quite nice, too. It adds a little bit of resistance down there, a little bit of crispness on the edge, and more of that seafoody flavor without being kind of fishy or stinky. This is actually quite good, I am so impressed! Mm-hmm. Particularly on the edges where the nori crisp up. It has a really nice flavor, kind of roasted and toasted and sweet and barbecued. So now that we have our eel, let’s try the fish. And there it is. So now what I’m interested in doing is cutting this in cross-section and seeing how it looks there. I’m imagining it’s going to look like, y’know, a fish steak. And it does, it looks like mackerel or canned sardines. Alrighty, let’s give our vegan fish a taste. Hmm, smells a little bit like seaweed, not unpleasant. Alright, here we go. Hmm No… That does not have the texture of fish, it’s a little bit chewier. It has a very homogeneous, consistent texture to it. Mmhmm. A little bit pasty, a little bit gummy. And then you’ve got the nori skin on there, which isn’t bad, it tastes like seaweed and I appreciate the fact that it’s trying to look like fish. But it doesn’t really taste like fish. It’s a little bit sweet and salty in terms of the kind of umami flavors in there, it doesn’t really taste fishy. When you eat the portion that has a little bit of the nori on there, it’s a little bit reminiscent of something that might have come out of the ocean. But mostly it’s a textural experience, kind of meatball-like, not as chewy, but it does have some bounce to it, not what you will find in fish. Fish meat separates and flakes and this does not. it’s a bit chewy and it’s more like protein you would find from a mammal not a fish. It doesn’t really have the essence of a fish at all, or seafood. Yeah, this one doesn’t work that well for me. But the unagi, on the other hand, really does it for me. I think there are multiple reasons why the unagi works for me, and I think number one is the sauce. The sauce immediately makes me think “unagi!” This is an unagi experience. Second, it’s the crisping of that skin, that skin, or the nori, really works there. It’s crispy, and it’s a little bit chewy, and has a bit of a pull on it, similar to unagi skin and the flesh, or the meat portion, of the unagi is pretty similar. So there you have it, vegan fish and vegetarian unagi, or eel. If you’re an unagi fan, I say definitely try this. If you’re vegetarian, it’s totally worth trying. The fish, not so much. Perhaps if you’re making it in a stir fry, but even so I would just say skip it. Alrighty! Thank you guys so much for joining me! I hope you guys enjoy that one, I hope you guys learn something! Share this video with your friends, follow me on social media, subscribe, like this video, and I shall see you in the next one. Too-da-loo! Take care, bye! Be sure to check out my other channel where I share my adventures in beekeeping and, yeah, check out the mirror glaze because it’s really bright pink.

100 thoughts on “Vegan FISH with FAKE SKIN & Vegetarian EEL TASTE TEST – What does imitation fish taste like?

  1. Dear Lovelies, Thanks so much for your concern about my arm. I am fine. As anyone who spends a lot of time in a kitchen knows, then often get burned. It happens. 🔥

  2. My parents are vegan and I eat with then occasionally (I have taste buds). The best way to eat the fish is season it and then pan fry. But the taste is mostly artificial, and eating these products over a long time will make you gradually aware that it’s not tasty.

  3. am I the only one who feels like she does not chew enough and that every time she swallows you are afraid that she will choke? anxieties… :/

  4. My Son & I had the veg fish just before watching this. We roll it in fine corn meal & fry. It tastes like fish sticks & we Love it with organic ketchup.

  5. She says shes using 1tsp of oil and proceeds to use 1-2 tablespoons… im confused if she put too much or accidentally said teaspoon instead of tablespoon.

  6. Where do you buy the vegetarian eel? I have looked and looked since seeing this still never found any and I live in an Asian area of my city too with markets all over and no veg eel! Can it be found online and shipped frozen?

  7. This is really irrelevant but I dropped my phone from laughter because I was about to comment on your video and my keyboard auto corrected my comment to "BUTTCRACK" in all caps….
    I've used the word twice…

  8. I swear this woman needs her own TV foodie show because she have eaten some strange ass foods ….she should get in touch with Andrew Zimmerman ???😀

  9. As a lifelong vegetarian, I've also tried a lot of imitation meats. Finding a vegetarian Asian store can be exciting, but after the novelty wears off of trying them wears off, it just becomes gross. Vegetarian hot dogs and lunch meats are fine, and burgers that are clearly made of rice and legumes or mushrooms are delicious, but the imitation meats that are more realistic, like mock chicken and beef, completely gross me out. I do however like the mock fish. Sometimes I joke that I am a mock meat pescatarian.

  10. So I’m not vegetarian or vegan but I understand the reasoning behind it. I feel so bad that I like meat but I don’t have the strength to avoid it. I think we should just accept other people’s lifestyles as long as it doesn’t hurt you personally.

  11. Whey protein is definitely no vegan, but if you’re vegetarian or trying to transition to vegan (or just like the novelty of a non-fish fish) this will be great for you lmao

  12. Why do vegans always feel the need to tell you that they're vegans and why are they always making their food taste like meat or fish if their food is so great why do they make it taste like ours it's ridiculous we are meant to be omnivores all those vegans always look so sickly and skinny makes me want to buy them a cheeseburger

  13. Emmy I hope you will find this message. I am a new subscriber and love your show! When I first started watching I always thought you should do Faux Nagi, sable cod made into eel. Funny I found this, but please think about it. Sable is expensive, so I am just going to try it with regular cod.
    https://www.seafoodwatch.org/consumers/sustainable-recipes/faux-nagi

  14. I always see this in my local Asian market AND I am Buddhist and vegetarian but I've still always been too nervous to try any of the imitation fish because I never liked fish even before I stopped eating meat. I would rather just watch you try it!

  15. i love faux fish. Ive eaten it ever since i was young. in Thailand during the chinese vegan festival a lot of places will serve this. just simply pan fried or deep fried. while it doesnt really taste like fish, i find that its delicious in its own right. the nori makes it really good i think. one thing to never touch though is vegan squid. it looks, feels, and tastes like rubber. I rmb buying it once from the supermarket and i could not chew it at all.

  16. The steamed fish lacks the ginger soy sauce with hot cooking oil! You should heat up the vegen cooking oil in a sauce pen, pour in half a cup of soy sauce and two tea spoons of sugar with a little vegan oyster sauce and some strips of ginger. Pour sauce over your steamed fish cutlet before you serve or eat. Then give your opinion or conclusion!

  17. I bought some hamburger crumbles I made spaghetti or something with it but I looked at the package later and it said vegan. No one even knew the difference including me!

  18. now, b4 i watch the video. i always wondered why a vegan or vegetarian , or whoever, would want to eat something that resembles something that they do not wish to eat. Now i am sure this does make sense.

  19. Now we know vegetarian eel is more promising to try than the fake fish, the presentation of the unpacking of the veg eel made it look delish even more so during and cooking then serving!

  20. “Vegetarian Essence”? So did they throw a vegetarian in a juicer and poured whatever they got into the eel or what?

  21. the fake fish says vegan imitation of fish but also veggie fish on the front, also the whey could be from soy milk

  22. I love that vegan fish! My mom would braise it in vegan "fish" sauce (it uses pineapples) when my family would celebrate Buddhist holidays.

  23. Oh, man, I love that kind of fake fish. I need to find some. Try it freshly fried, over lettuce, cucumber slices, and mint leaves. Dip it into a good nuoc cham.

  24. I never understood vegans that want imitation of meat. I get that you may want a vegan diet for health reasons, but for the vegans that are against eating meat, why do you want an imitation fish or a steak or a burger? Anyways… I know this wasn't about that… its just a taste test.

  25. I love unagi specially when you BBQ it and nice to know the veggie equivalent is good but I think I'll just eat the real thing.

  26. I"ll never understand why vegetarians that don't like meat, want to eat foods that are as close to meat as possible.

  27. Im visiting my local (by local i mean the one 20 mins away ;[ ) asian market and im gonna stock up on cool asian foods! You gave the the courage to try stuff like this (im expecially excited for nato, i do like me a stinky food)

  28. Hi Emmy, I love your channel! On the subject of veggie "fake" here's one for you: fake caviar. Real simple: simmer until liquid absorbed 2 T hulled quinoa in 4 T water to which you have added 1 tsp concentrated squid ink. The latter can be purchased in many Latin food stores or ordered from Amazon. Serve cold on crackers with lemon etc.

  29. this is the first time ive seen a vegetarian fish thing! i feel like, while food tech is advancing more and more every day, fish has been a sort of neglected category. food companies seem to have ground beef and chicken down pretty well, fake pork products are a hit or miss, and even egg substitutes are getting pretty good, but you never see fish! im sure its hard to get the specific textures down, but id like to see more people try!

  30. Your haircut is super cute! More vegan recipes, please- esp. Japanese-style. Cooking without seafood/bonito flake dashi is not easy.

  31. I didn't watch this video because the whole concept seems stupid. If someone is against meat, for moral reasons, then they should be against anything that might be mistaken for meat. The same as people who are against the harvesting of furs shouldn't wear fake fur.

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