Vegan shrimp is a seafood shrimp alternative, which is plant-based and popular among people who are looking to eat healthier and save the environment. There are a variety of ingredients in vegan shrimp that make it taste like real shrimp.
Vegan shrimp is usually made of one main component (konjac, soy protein, modified starch, or fenugreek) with other ingredients, such as thickener, flavoring, and sweeteners.
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A soy-free shrimp made primarily from konjac, which is a root vegetable that has been eaten for centuries because of its nutritional value. Konjac contains almost no calories or carbs, and is rich in dietary fiber and other nutrients. It’s commonly used to make noodles in Asian cuisine. Glucomannan is the main component of konjac to make vegan shrimp.
Soy protein is a plant protein. Many companies are using soy protein or another type of plant protein to create the perfect vegan shrimp. Different proteins can give shrimp different textures and tastes depending on what they are blended with. These plant proteins can make your vegan dishes come out light and fluffy or chewy, but all taste like real shrimp.
Modified starch can be used to produce in whatever shape or size of the shrimp the company needs, but it always has a similar taste and texture as real shrimp. Modified starch is totally different from normal starch as its property can keep the same even though it goes through high-temperature processes. The purpose of modified starch is to mimic real shrimp, thus creating a seafood taste without the catch.
Sodium Alginate and Carrageenan
Sodium alginate and carrageenan are two thickeners that many vegan shrimp companies use to turn into a sauce or gravy that will stay on your vegan shrimp. It helps bring out the flavor of the vegan shrimp better and helps to really make the dish pop.
The purpose of Fenugreek in vegan shrimp is to make the shrimp taste like real shrimp by adding a somewhat seafood-like taste. Fenugreek is known to act as an antioxidant and has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times.
In addition to the main components mentioned above, vegan shrimp may also consist of sugar, salt, and usually some kind of flavoring. To make vegan shrimp taste like the real thing, some products add yeast extract or algae extract. Yeast extract provides umami flavor, while algae extract delivers the seafood taste of glutamic acid.
There are also some different kinds of vegan shrimp made out of other types of ingredients depending on the manufacturer.
The composition of vegan shrimp may differ according to manufacturers, but generally, vegan shrimp is made of a major component and other ingredients as mentioned above.