This Chef Can Fool You Into Falling for Vegan Tomato Sushi

Chef James Corwell makes sushi with tomatoes cooked sous vide style that looks and feels like sushi-grade tuna
This Chef Can Fool You Into Falling for Vegan Tomato Sushi

It tastes great, and it’s environmentally friendly. Chef Corwell may be on to something.

Sushi and seafood chefs everywhere are scrambling to get the message out about seafood sustainability, like Jiro (of Jiro Dreams of Sushi fame), warning people not to overfish, to save the quickly dwindling population of Bluefin tuna. However, what if you could make and eat faux sushi without the guilt of negatively impacting the environment?

Chef James Corwell makes realistic faux tuna sushi. The “fish” looks, feels, and has the texture of raw tuna. But his aesthetically appealing sushi rolls are actually made from tomatoes, and cooked sous-vide style (cooked in water in vacuum-tight plastic bags). The process, Corwell noted, turns tomatoes into “faux tuna.” As Corwell says on his website, “go beyond the cucumber roll.”

“I'm not interested in making [plant protein] behave like meat," he told NPR, referencing Tofurkey and other faux meat products. "Tuna has a similar architecture to the proteins we're already working on."

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He isn’t the only one working on this type of culinary experiment. Impossible Foods is a company that makes fairly realistic plant-based beef, and a vegan butcher shop has opened in Minneapolis that sells all types of “meat” to the public.