Most meat-free alternatives come either minced or in blocks. But Japan-based Next Meats has created the world’s first plant-based yakiniku meat – thinly sliced creations that offer new ways of cooking, and eating.
The meatless creation is a soy-dominant product that claims to come packing double the amount of protein, and half the fats than usual meat. “We have a lot of products in the meat alternative industry, but nothing that mimics sliced meat,” shares CEO of Next Meats, Hideyuki Sadaki at a virtual press conference. “We wanted to capture that essence of Japanese grilled meat.”
You can sample this creation at all Aburi-en outlets in Singapore. From now till July 2021, the Japanese grill chain will grill up soy-based meat bowls for a guilt-free yakiniku meal. There is the Kalbi Don Set ($13.80), served atop steamed rice; and the Stamina Teishoku ($15.80) cooked with stir-fried cabbage and crowned with egg imported from Okinawa. According to the restaurant’s head chef, the Next Meats alternative cooks in just under a minute, and does not require much prior preparation.
“We have a lot of products in the meat alternative industry, but nothing that mimics sliced meat.”
While other industry alternatives come with a slightly hefty price tag, these yakiniku slices from Next Meats (they cost 390 yen, or around $4.80 for an 80g packet in Japan) offer a wallet-friendly plant-based alternative for those looking to cut down on their meat intake. And it could develop a nice char from the grill, too, which helps impart a smoky bite. But don’t expect a close approximation of barbecued beef; instead, the texture more closely mimics that of Chinese mock meat or seitan,
There are also plans for Next Meats to introduce its products to more restaurants and eateries in Singapore. Beyond its yakiniku offering, the brand also has created a burger patty replacement, Next burger; and a beef bowl alternative called Next gyudon.