I love meat – real meat – too much to ever become a vegan or vegetarian. It even took me years to incorporate fruit and vegetables into my diet, as I consider myself a ‘carnivore’. Still, every meal feels incomplete without meat.
Recently, plant-based meats have become the in-thing and an increasing number of people have made the switch to integrate it more into their daily lives.
While I’ve tried my fair share of plant-based meats to see what the hype was all about and while I’ve come across a few mention-worthy options, none of them have ever managed to convince me to make such a huge lifestyle change.
Nevertheless, when I heard that Japanese chain Aburi-EN was launching a plant-based yakiniku (Japanese-style grilled meat), I was curious to see if this would change my mind.
I’ve tried plant-based patties and minced ‘beef’ before, but yakiniku? Never. In fact, this is the first time plant-based yakiniku have been brought into Singapore, according to Aburi-EN.
In collaboration with Next Meats , a Japanese alternative meat start-up, Aburi-EN has released two new limited-edition offerings — the Kalbi Don set ($13.80) and Stamina Teishoku ($15.80).
These are made with Next Meat’s karubi (boneless short rib) which are crafted out of soybean proteins without the use of chemical additives or animal ingredients. It is also said to contain fewer calories, double the proteins and one-tenth of the fat as compared to its meat counterparts, promising diners a yakiniku experience minus the guilt.
As wholesome as this sounds, did the plant-based yakiniku live up to the taste test?