Recently, I reported on the new plant-based alternative to raw tuna sushi, coming to Whole Foods in select cities on Nov. 1 (with hopes to eventually roll it out nationwide). As a vegan of three years and vegetarian of 17, I was obviously highly intrigued by the product.

So, Imagine my delight when I got the opportunity to actually give the Ahimi a try for myself. The founder of Ocean Hugger Foods himself, Chef James Corwell, along with CEO David Benzaquen, met me at Spoon HQ for a tasting. If you didn't catch the tasting on Spoon's Insta Story, here's what I thought of it. 

First Impressions

Katherine Baker

Before I tasted the Ahimi, I watched as the chef prepared the product. The Ahimi came in filets that he sliced and diced in similar fashion to sushi chefs fileting real fish.

While he was prepping, I peeped at the ingredient list, which was short and sweet: tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, water, and sesame oil. 

I also noticed that the only major allergen on the list was soy, and thought about how this could be a nice option for those who love sushi, but may be allergic to fish, pregnant, or immunocompromised.

The Taste

Katherine Baker

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when trying this product. I haven't had raw tuna in like, ever, and for the few years of my life that I did eat meat, I hated fish, so I wasn't sure if I'd like it. 

But to my surprise, the Ahimi delighted my tastebuds. The flavor was very neutral, with subtile sweet, savory, and umami notes. 

What I noticed most, was how well it paired with other elements in the sushi. It complimented the rice, avocado, and nori paper quite well, without overpowering them. And it was extra scrumptious with soy sauce and wasabi.

I could see this stuff tasting great in a vegan poke bowl. Which coincidentally, I learned it's already available in a poke bowl at Fresh & Co in NYC. So yes, I will be hitting them up, too for this delicacy. 

The Texture

Katherine Baker

The Ahimi had a soft, yet hearty and meaty mouthfeel with a bite. It definitely mimicked what I imagine the texture of raw tuna fish would be, and was kind of like biting into muscle. 

It was a nice contrast to the sticky rice and smooth avocado. I'm a texture-junkie, and this was a new sensation I could definately see myself getting into.

A Meat Eater's Take

Katherine Baker

Fully aware that I may not be the most well-qualified individual to compare this to raw fish, I offered a piece to a fellow meat and raw-fish eating sushi lover.

Jensen enjoyed the Ahimi sushi, and even declared he wouldn't have known the difference between the Ahimi and real raw tuna.

The Bottom Line

Katherine Baker

I went into this tasting with no idea what to expect, and I left a huge fan! The product is certainly the first of it's kind, and is a sustainable and ocean-friendly alternative to raw tuna for vegetarians, vegans, meat-lovers, those with allergies or dietary restrictions, or those who just straight-up love sushi and want to reduce their environmental impact.

I give this fish-free fish a 10/10 and would recommend it to anyone who may be curious. Ahimi is living proof that fish can be friends, not food.