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.