From shrimp cocktail to sushi, seafood is a diverse category of foodstuffs. Lots of people on the plant-based path tend to resist abandoning these options, often assuming that fish and shellfish don’t feel pain.
Sadly, science shows they do, and thanks to habitat destruction, overfishing, and by-catch issues, the worldwide appetite for seafood is ravaging our oceans, so it’s more important than ever to put the breaks on this kind of consumption.
The good news is, there’s no need to decimate the sea in order to enjoy its tasty flavors. Lots of companies are making mouthwatering products that taste just like the dishes you remember.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Gardein’s Fishless Filets & Crabless Cakes
From a company known for its mouthwatering meatless meats, it’s no surprise that their fish-free filet is so impressive. Similar to the Van de Kamp’s-style meals most of us remember from childhood, Gardein’s version is an indistinguishable substitute in everything from fish & chips to fish tacos. Crabless cakes are the company’s latest seafood surprise. These super-cute, crispy seafood bites will keep those Maryland coast cravings at bay.
- Sophie’s Kitchen full line of vegan seafoods
Started by a mom whose daughter was allergic to seafood, this company makes a lengthy list of vegan alternatives, including “toona” (in two flavors), crab cakes, coconut shrimp, fish filets, scallops, and smoked salmon. The only thing missing is tartar sauce, and Follow Your Heart makes a vegan version)!
- Various options at Asian markets
Lots of local Asian markets have a vegan/vegetarian meat substitute section. The freezer case can be a treasure trove of meatless substitutes for everything from shrimp to lobster to tuna. NYC’s May Wah Vegetarian Market actually specializes in these kinds of eats — many of which are derived from the konjac plant, a yamlike tuber. (For those who aren’t in NYC, they offer online ordering!)
- Tofuna Fysh
This start-up out of Portland, Oregon, makes a tuna fish substitute with jackfruit, tofu, seaweed, and other veggies. While currently available only in the Portland area, they’re working on expanding to other markets, so keep an eye out.