A New Wave of Thinking

When it comes to food, if taste and texture are king, then the story behind the brand is the crown. The chief component of identifying with food is deeply rooted in our understanding of what it’s made of, who made it, and where it comes from. Food that is trying to emulate something can feel fundamentally like a disrupter and no matter how much disrupters are in vogue, the most important thing to a person’s taste buds are just that – the taste.

If you have never heard of New Wave Foods before, you are not only in for a quite surprisingly satisfying bite but quite a story as well. The company has created sustainable, plant-based shrimp, made entirely from algae and natural ingredients. No animal (or sea animal) products. And they’re doing all of this because they have a passion for marine conservation and a mission to change the way we eat seafood. The foundation of their story lies in their vision to eliminate the devastating impacts that commercial seafood production has on our oceans.

Plant-based proteins, while not new, have taken a significant leap in popularity and now have a chance to live up to the expectations of the masses. Finding ways to replace some of our non-sustainable food habits with cleaner, environmentally-sound ones is especially important when it comes to our choice of proteins. There are a handful of companies tackling this issue, and some of them are very driven to emulate the familiar textures and tastes of the proteins we love. When it comes to replicating shrimp, New Wave does a terrific job. They somehow infuse the very essence of the sea and the shape and color of shrimp into every bite.

In the service of trying something completely new and potentially groundbreaking, we acquired both the breaded shrimp and the “raw” versions. This allowed us to follow the suggested recipes that were formulated for both versions by former Google Chef Charlie Ayers.

We started with the breaded version of the “shrimp.” For all practical purposes it is a really excellent stand-in for breaded shrimp you might buy. In one recipe we tried, the Crispy Shrimp Lettuce Cups and Peanut Sauce, we used an air fryer to enhance the crispiness of the product and it did a really good job in translating the concept of breaded shrimp. The recipe itself was delicious and truly complemented the faux shrimp. It gave a perfect sensation of satiation and satisfaction. We also tried the breaded version in a Bahn Mi sandwich, which was equally as satisfying and delicious. The product truly emulated breaded shrimp to a T.

Next we tried the “raw shrimp” in a pasta primavera dish. The sauce we used was light and lemony, which complemented the product nicely. Again, the texture was spot on and the taste was truly like eating shrimp from the sea. New Wave Foods also has a number of recipes for the raw product that we’re really excited to try in the future. The product can be simmered or sautéed for a nice light shrimp substitute.

New Wave Foods is doing something that, quite frankly, needs doing. The human population is on the rise and our appetite for sea protein is increasing exponentially. It’s not a matter of if, but when, we overfish our oceans – and soon we’ll be seeking answers from forward thinkers like New Wave more and more. Their solution is brilliant & innovative, and we are certainly excited to see what the future holds for them!