Imagine a day when wagyu beef is a thing of the past. That day may be here sooner than we think.
As we learned in a recent article from the South China Morning Post, Japanese-Canadian master chef Hidekazu Tojo couldn’t tell the difference between a plant-based imitation of wagyu and the real deal.
We repeat: A master chef of Japanese cuisine—Tojo created the now omnipresent California Roll in the 1970s—was unable to differentiate a vegan rendition of the famed meat from any of the Japanese beef cattle. Safe to say, the plant-based “Waygu” teriyaki strips are a pretty darn impressive imitator of its beefy counterpart. Made by Vancouver-based Top Tier Foods, the company also makes a product known as “Sushi Quinoa,” quinoa that is ideal in sushi rolls or as a replacement for sticky rice, as well as seaweed-based fish roe alternatives. The brand additionally offers a ready-to-cook quinoa product in six flavors, called “Quinoa Quickies.”
Tojo’s reaction to this “new meat” which he describes as “tender” and having “very good seasoning.” Beyond passing Tojo’s sniff test as tasting just like beef and thoroughly impressing him, the plant-based alternative meat also, of course, has the added benefit of being good for the environment and better for our health.
So far, vegan Waygu has been distributed to restaurants in Japan and plans on rolling out large-scale production this month, per VegNews. Since both types of Top Tier Foods’ quinoa products are available at Whole Foods across British Columbia, we’re hoping to see an American launch of these items and vegan Waygu in the near future.
‘Til then, we guess this is just one more line item to add to our list of “reasons to move to Canada” right below the Canadian government investing $100 million in plant-based protein.
Story by Perri O. Blumberg, August 6, 2020
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