"OMNIPORK" - Asia's First Vegan Bleeding Burger?
OMNIPORK is the first product of 'OMNIFOODS' - an innovate Hong Kong food venture created by David Yeung in 2018. David Yeung is an environmental advocate and business man, who is also responsible for GREEN MONDAY: an organization that promotes plant based eating and a green lifestyle for a healthier earth without animal suffering. Created in 2012, the concept has now spread to over 30 countries and in Hong Kong an estimated 24% of the population supports and follows its guidelines. Yeung has since continuously being active in maintaining and creating new projects for a greener world.
Western Innovation x Asian Application
A team of Canadian food scientists spent 2 years to research and create this plant meat! And the data is impressive. Made from peas, GMO-free soy, rice and shiitake, the burgers have unique texture and flavor and absorb other flavors while keeping their firm shape - which is ideal for making things like burgers and meatballs! Characteristic of plant based foods, they are free of cholesterol, antibiotics, hormones and of course CRUELTY! Compared to traditional pork, Omnipork contains 86% less saturated fat, 66% less calories, while simultaneously containing 327% more calcium, 127% more iron and much more fiber. Talk about #PoweredByPlants !
Most popular meat replacements, like Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger, are based on beef. Yeung explains that pork is not only one of the most consumed meats in the world, but even more so in Asia - where Chinese cuisine prefers pork over chicken and beef.
"More importantly... how does it taste?"
After seeing several raging posts on SNS about the brand new plant-meat hitting Japan, I decided to splurge a bit (a lot...) and get two packs from my favorite veggie web shop Greens Vegetarian where they sell for 1,717JPY per 1kg pack.
The first two times we used minimal seasoning and focused on the natural flavor and texture. First impression? WOW. A lot of vegan burgers have a very strong flavor from themselves, which you either love or hate. Also, the texture makes or breaks your meat - and more often than not, vegan meats are either deadly dry and chewy, or come apart if you as much as dare to look at them...
Omnipork has an amazing texture that holds up even when you make burgers or meatballs. It's been a minute since I've seen a homemade vegan burger being flipped! But even more importantly than this moist (OK, nobody likes this word! - but it sounds better than "not-dry". fight me.), firm texture is Omnipork's ability to sponge up whatever flavor you throw at it. Whether you decide to bake them in a pool of liquid smoke, leave your meatballs to soak in a soup until the next day (tried and tested!) or just drench them with a sauce after plating, the meat seems indestructible. The meat itself was deliberately kept neutral so you can flavor it to your own liking - making it very versatile. Omipork is suitable for steaming, pan-frying, deep-frying, stuffing, crumbling or meat ball- and burger crafting! - Of course, we'll take it upon ourselves to try all of the above. You know, for research purposes #noblesacrifice
Does it bleed?
Honestly, I'm THAT vegan that never was a fan of burgers and beef (all the more of pork and chicken though - which according to Omnipork's logic explains my love for both the Asian kitchen as well as the Omnnipork product!); so burgers are not necessarily my area of expertise, and I've never understood peoples' need for a burger to bleed. If your goal is a juicy burger/meatball that leaves you with messy hands, an explosion of flavor and #foodporn for the gram - Omnipork ticks the boxes!
Omnipork is increasingly available throughout Asia, with big names like Walmart, Taco bell the Four Seasons and Cathay Pacific offering it on their menu. Tokyo folk, if I were you I would run, RUN - not walk, to the VEGAN STORE: Japan's first all-vegan convenience store in Asakusa, who offer not only Omnipork 1kg packs, but also Omnipork Burgers in their drive-thru.... "Ready, Set, Go!"
OMNIFOODS continuous to impress professional chefs and home cooks alike with an increasing lineup of superior meat alternatives, supporting their mission to a greener planet through, among others, an accessible and delicious plant based lifestyle-
and we can only hope their new lineup will reach Japan soon!
Verdict: GO. TRY.THIS.
Eat @ : Saido (Tokyo Vegan Restaurant), Vegan Store (Drive-through Asakusa) Buy @ : Greens Vegetarian (online), National Azabu (Tokyo store), Vegan Store
➡️ Read more about OMNIPORK, find their recipes, drool on their new line up and find out where to travel to to get them, here.
➡️ Listen to David Yeung, Vegan for +20 years and founder of Green Monday and OMNIFOOD, on his TEDx TALK "Make Change Happen, Make Green Happen", here.