As a vegan, sometimes I find myself missing certain foods I enjoyed before I went completely plant-based. Foods like barbecue, pot roast, baked brie, and smoked salmon. These are foods that are difficult to veganize, although vegan barbecue is becoming a big trend. If you live in a vegan friendly city, then the plant-based options are endless. For example, the last time I visited Austin I went to the local grocery store and lo and behold I came across Vegan Smoked Salmon by a company called Sophie’s Kitchen.
I snatched the package from the fridge then raced around the store to add vegan cream cheese and gluten free bagels to my shopping cart, plus some red onion and tomato. I knew exactly what I wanted. Lox and bagels! Here’s my review on vegan smoked salmon plus some tips and where you can find vegan seafood products ??
First of all, this smoked salmon looks like the real thing. For a lot of people, both vegan and non-vegan, that can be a common criticism of vegan foods – they don’t look anything like the non-vegan version. The color, the texture, everything about Sophie’s Kitchen salmon looks like real smoked salmon.
So what’s the main ingredient? Cuz we know it ain’t fish! They use konjac root (pronounced kon-jack), an ancient superfood from Southeast Asia. It’s got several nicknames, but my two favorites are elephant yam and devil’s tongue! Konjac is popular in traditional Japanese cuisine because it’s low in calories and high in fiber. Sophie’s Kitchen combines the konjac with seaweed to create a realistic seafood alternative.
That’s the other great thing about this product. Most processed foods have a seriously long list of ingredients, but this vegan smoked salmon only has ten ingredients. It’s gluten free, soy free, and non-GMO verified. There are no preservatives, colors, or MSG, and it’s naturally sugar free.
The taste. That’s the most important factor, right? Even above the realistic appearance. This is the only category where things fall just a tad bit short. In my opinion, the salmon could use a smidgen more flavor. It’s not bland, you get some flavors, but it needs some more savoury or umami flavor. The good thing is, you probably won’t be eating vegan smoked salmon on it’s own. You’ll be eating it with bagels and cream cheese, in a sandwich, as tacos, or some variation where other foods can bring more flavor to the table.
Despite not completely hitting the flavor mark, I would purchase Sophie’s Kitchen’s Vegan Smoked Salmon again. Especially if that craving for lox and bagels kicks in. Aside from the three recommendations I just listed above, they suggest using their salmon on pizza, in hot and cold pasta, dips, spreads, omelettes, quesadillas, quiche, wraps, chowders, and more!
Sophie’s Kitchen doesn’t just produce vegan smoked salmon, they have a ton of plant-based seafood products available. If you check out their website, you’ll see crab cakes, shrimp, scallops, toona (which I’ve had several times), and more. They’re branching out to include glazed salmon bacon, pastrami, and lobster mac n cheese that will be available soon.
You can find Sophie’s Kitchen products at Whole Foods, as well as local natural foods stores. However, you may be able to find it at your local grocery store chain like I did (shout-out to HEB in Lakeway!). If you can’t find their product near you, there’s also the homemade option. Google “vegan lox” and you’ll find a surprising amount of recipes for lox made with carrots. I haven’t tried this yet myself, but it’s on my cooking to-do list!
The point is, it’s easy being vegan. You can find or make practically anything you want. It’s better for your health, for animals, and for the environment. Being vegan doesn’t mean missing out on tasty foods. Give Sophie’s Kitchen a try and let me know what you think!