In the last few years, vegan beef-like “bleeding” burgers, fried “chicken” made from seitan, and meat-free sausages made from soy, pea protein, and mushrooms have filled supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. Demand for vegan meat has soared as consumers learn more about the environmental, ethical, and health issues associated with eating animal products.
Although a handful of brands are now offering vegan fish fillets, many are yet to focus on creating vegan shellfish, in particular, lobster. But one company has created a solution for those craving a little cruelty-free crustacean.
May Wah Vegetarian Market — a New York City-based store specializing in veggie meat — offers vegan lobster meat made from yam flour and vegetable oil, among other ingredients. It recommends that customers “boil the lobster in hot water and let it cool down. Slice the lobster and marinate with desired sauces … serve cold, stir-fried, or stewed.”
Can Lobsters Feel Pain?
Real lobster is often boiled alive, which many argue is humane as the animals can’t feel pain, however, others maintain that this cannot be proved, and it’s likely that they do experience pain in some way.
Barbara King, a biological anthropologist, told the Washington Post, “whether we know or don’t know, it’s our ethical responsibility to give them the benefit of the doubt and not put them into boiling water.”
Vegan Fish Ham, Mutton, and Crab Steak
Aside from vegan lobster meat, the vegetarian market — which often supplies its products to surrounding restaurants — offers a diverse range of veggie meat products, including vegan chicken legs (made from soybean protein), vegan stewed mutton (made with mushrooms), and vegan crab steak (made with a variety of sliced vegetables).
The unique store is a hit with consumers, with many traveling from across town just to visit. “Highlights include citrus spare ribs in the frozen section (meat eaters and vegans alike will absolutely swoon over this), as well as ‘fish ham,’ which is wrapped in seaweed and looks like a huge sushi roll and tastes incredible,” says one reviewer on vegan travel and restaurant guide Happy Cow.
“Another highlight is the beef jerky, which my meat-eating friends love so much, they are considering becoming vegan just based off of this one product,” they added.
May Wah Vegetarian Market is located on Hester Street in Chinatown, Manhattan.