You'll never believe what they use in place of fish. 

By Arielle Weg
November 01, 2017
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Credit: Whole Foods

Vegetarians and vegans (or just raw-fish-averse people) rejoice: Now you can have your sushi without the seafood! And it looks (and apparently tastes) remarkably like the real thing.

The faux sushi was developed by Ocean Hugger Foods, a company that set out to create the world's first plant-based alternative to raw fish. Chef James Corwell was inspired to start the company after learning about overfishing and the need for a sustainable seafood alternative. Beyond sushi, the product can be used in ceviche, tartare, poke bowls, salads, and wraps. 

The faux-tuna, called ahimi, launched on November 1 of last year in select New York and Los Angeles Whole Foods locations, according to a Whole Foods press release. Shortly after, the supermarket giant announced they were expanding the plant-based alternative to 40 Whole Foods stores.

Credit: Whole Foods

The faux-tuna rolls have since appeared on college campuses and in corporate offices, and the brand recently released a statement that it would be available at seven additional Whole Foods locations. This announcement came days after the Tokyo-based company, Nishimoto, said they would begin distributing their plant-based products across the globe. Consumers can expect to see the sushi at stores in Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe, and expanded U.S. retailers soon. 

Credit: Ocean Hugger Foods

Ocean Hugger Foods is currently developing two other sushi alternatives that they plan to release at the end of 2018. Sakimi will be a salmon substitute made from carrots and Unami is an eggplant-based alternative to eel.

The name ahimi comes from the word "ahi" meaning tuna and "mi" meaning spirit in Japanese. The faux-fish is made from peeled tomatoes that are marinated in a mixture of water, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. The pieces are then cooked down at a very low temperature for a long time, though the exact method is kept a company secret, the Los Angeles Times reported. The result is a very meaty, umami-rich taste and texture akin to ahi tuna. 

This plant-based option joins other veggie-forward rolls already available at the sushi counter. The vegan tuna is used in an Ahimi California Roll ($8.99) and an Ahimi Sushi Combo ($11.99), according to Veg News. You can try the futuristic fish with the store locator

Credit: Ocean Hugger Foods

Whole Foods has previously awarded Ocean Hugger Foods with a Whole Foods Market Supplier Award for outstanding innovation in April 2018. In addition, Whole Foods included Ocean Hugger Foods Ahimi vegan tuna as one of their plant-forward predicted food trends of 2018

 All of the plant-based fish products are safe for vegans, vegetarians, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.