Sometimes I try things so you don’t have to. In this case, it’s vegan prawns. I was all excited to be able to report back to you, my dear Veggin’ readers, that this product was fantastic, divine, tasty, incredible or even edible. But, I can’t. I just can’t say any of those things. I’m getting ahead of myself so let me start from the beginning.
I saw these vegan prawns, by Sophie’s Kitchen, at my local organic market in the freezer section and I immediately thought, “Ooooh, I can make shrimp scampi!”
The product is 100% vegan and soy free. Primary ingredients include konjac powder, potato starch, and carrageenan (a seaweed based gelatin).
The product is vacuum packed and meant to be kept frozen and defrosted before use.
The shrimp are first thawed, and then cooked by sauteing them for a few minutes on each side. I whipped up a quick scampi (recipe below) to cook them in and nestled the shrimp atop some freshly made quinoa that had some lemon juice squeezed on it.
One bite of the vegan shrimp, and I knew the review was over. The feeling of biting into the shrimp reminded me of a rubber bicycle tube filled with old deflated squeaky balloons. Not that I’ve ever bitten into a rubber bicycle tube filled with deflated squeaky balloons but that’s got to be what it feels like.
I tried another bite, hoping that perhaps I was tasting and sensing things wrongly, but no, the second bite was just as bad as the first. The shrimp itself had a very mild salty flavor but the sensation of biting into it just couldn’t be overcome. Meanwhile, the in-house taste tester was quiet. I asked him what he thought. His reaction was just a simple, “um, no.”
Before you say, “Riiiight, Megabeth, you cooked it in a yucky sauce, perhaps that’s why it tasted bad.” I say, nay. The sauce was super good. Once I pushed all the shrimp off the quinoa and dug in, I was a happy camper.
Perhaps if the prawns weren’t so big and dense they wouldn’t be so rubbery and hard to take. I’m not quite sure. All I know is, I didn’t like it.
Look, I’m pretty nice here at Veggin’ and really don’t like having to post a bad review. So, before I write off Sophie’s Kitchen’s entire line of vegan seafood products, I would like to say that there are some other interesting products in their line that I am going to try, if I can find them. The vegan crab cakes and vegan smoked salmon look intriguing enough to try out.
If interested, here is my recipe for the vegan scampi sauce that I used. Poured over the quinoa, it was delicious. Perhaps I’ll try it with another vegetarian protein, but I know I won’t be using these fake shrimp again.
Recipe: Vegan Scampi Sauce
Summary: A quick sauce for quinoa or vegetables
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- dash cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- Heat butter in skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic and cook until softened.
- Add vegan shrimp (if cooking with them), wine and lemon juice until shrimp are browned (about 2 – 3 minutes each side).
- If not using shrimp, just cook sauce until reduced slightly.
- Add parsley, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper right before serving.
- Pour over rice, quinoa or vegetables.
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegan