Hong Kong embraces new pork alternative with a traditional flair
Most meat-eaters aren’t going to pass up bacon. But Hong Kong, a city of proud pork eaters, is now a new testing ground for a plant-based alternative.
OminPork consists of soybeans, peas, shiitake mushrooms and rice. It’s a versatile substitute as it can be minced, prepared in strips or in chunks the way pork is in traditional Hong Kong cuisine. That’s likely because OmniPork’s inventor David Yeung is familiar with these classic dishes.
Yeung, who has lived in Hong Kong and is a vegetarian, spent 19 years trying to make the perfect substitute.
“Rather than launching something that is a very new concept, we want them to know that it functions and cooks like pork,” Yeung told the Associated Press. “Now the reason why we chose pork is because in Asia that’s the most consumed meat, versus let’s say in North America, chicken and beef are much higher in terms of consumption.”
Yeung believes the Asian market is essential to promoting global environmental awareness. He pointed to Asia representing 60 percent of the world population as to why that is. Decreasing meat consumption can have positive effects on the planet. Harvesting animals releases harmful greenhouse gases, requires a great deal of energy and can lead to deforestation.
Fortunately, many in Hong Kong appear to be loving OmniPork. Tong Kee Bao Dim, a popular fast-food chain has now included buns, dumplings and steamed rice options with the pork alternative on its menu.
“We’ve found that cooking OmniPork strips, tastes very similar to real pork,” Jackie Yu, one of the store’s general managers, told the Associated Press. “We can easily get the traditional taste that Hong Kong people are familiar with, we just have to choose the right ingredients to go with it.”
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